I Love You All / A Farewell: Why Your High School Scene is Important

Hey guys, it’s Hugh and I’m here to say goodbye. I’ve spent my entire high school career dreaming about, thinking about, planning for, and playing shows, and now that time has come to an end. I played the last Kids Luv Cops show this past Thursday with my dear friends James Putnam, Owen Schmidt, and Cooper Ernst. Being the only band of entirely seniors, it was a fucking emotional experience as we witnessed the end of our high school lives and the beginning of a new crop of bands. These are people who since watching them struggle at open mics a few years ago have grown into great musicians with fucking impressive original music.

The Concord scene shaped my life and the lives of everyone in our band. It’s such a supportive environment that dealt with us as we struggled to play shitty funk rock and encouraged and challenged us to get better. While we were doing a funk cover of “Hey There Delilah”, Skank Vendor invited everyone up on stage to mosh as they released a fucking brilliant 4 song grunge EP. That pushed us to change direction and get better. All of my friends inspire me to become a better songwriter, bassist, and singer, and I hope I’ve encouraged others to do the same.

If it weren’t for Concord DIY, I don’t know what the fuck I’d be doing with my life. I’m not into sports, I’m not really an activist, I’m not driven by academics. If it weren’t for literally every single one of you who cared enough to read this far into this post and some of you who didn’t I wouldn’t fucking be here. When I wasn’t playing shows, I was dreaming about playing them, planning them, and practicing. There’s a reason all of you saw me, James, and Owen crying our fucking eyes out after the show. It’s because all of you have shaped our lives so much and we’re so fucking sad to see all of it end.

This all means so much to me and I truly fucking hope you guys keep it going. I know I’m posturing like I’m some kind of scene elder when I’m only 18 but here’s some stuff I’ve learned over the years:

  • Form a fucking band or solo project. Just do it as quickly as possible and as soon as you can start practicing. You won’t regret it, don’t wait on it.
  • Practice all the time with your band. Try weekly, just do it all the time until you’re sick of your own songs, then play them some more until you’re no longer sick of them.
  • Start writing originals as soon as you start. You will enjoy playing music so much more if it’s your own material. Songwriting is really hard but at the same time it’s way more simple than I thought it was. Just sling a few chord progressions together, write some lyrics, and you have a song. Shitty originals are far better to witness than shitty covers so get writing!
  • Set up quickly, play your set, and get out quickly.
  • Build a pedalboard, no one wants to see you set up everything on stage.
  • Plan shows all the time, have shows all the time. Use all of your resources, invite everyone who might be remotely interested in music.
  • Be nice and respectful of EVERYONE. Transphobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism,etc. do not belong in punk rock.

Sorry for preaching to all of you, take everything I say with a grain of salt because I’m just a clueless kid like the rest of you. Be a clueless kid and love everything that you possibly can because there’s never enough of that. There’s so much hate and cynicism and while that stuff is important sometimes try your best to support each other. I made all of my close friends through Concord DIY and I’m going to miss them so fucking much once I’m gone. We talk about everything, from music to politics to relationships and we share our highs and our lowest of lows. We’ve been through shows where we fucked everything up and shows where we fucking killed it. I swear to Satan I did not cry for the entirety of high school until this fucking year when I realized how much I love all of you and now I’m literally crying as I write this. I’m filled with so much sadness writing this because jesus fucking christ I will miss all of you. Please keep all of this going because I derived so much joy and love and experience from all of this and I hope it helps all of you as much as it helped me. The Concord Scene made me ok with being an angsty emo kid and now that I realize that about myself I’m so much happier. You all made me into a better and happier person.

Love everyone because god knows how much I fucking love all of you.

Thanks for sticking with me all these years, it means a lot.

— hugh, for the last time.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Advertisements

Scene Update 7/3/17

Hey pals! This miiight be the last scene update I do which is extremely sad but it’s the fact of the matter because I’m leaving the scene! I’ll write a weepy goodbye post at some point but boy is this not it. Let’s get to it:

  1. Here’s the KLC EP art that’s being released this Friday! We’ll have CD’s and probably tapes!better
  2. This happened a while ago but Boxed Water released Death Machine on June 9th featuring myself on guest gutturals/hair metal screaming!
  3. Nick Owen released “Bass & Drum” on June 14th! Nick’s been playing some of these for a while so it’s great to hear them recorded! 
  4. On July 8th there are three gigs featuring Concord artists! For links check the calendar! Kids Luv Cops have a gig with Fat Shuggy, Ra Saen, Loneranger, and Beautiful Woman: 19780772_870543929789116_1616822639912898551_o
  5. Nick Owen has the other two shows that day, Big Summer Sad Fest during the day featuring Mint Green, Ozlo, Brown Lights, Puppy Problems, Wolvves, Black Beach, Gia Greene, Baja Blasters, Rend, and Bedbug, and then a show at the Burrow with DONKNG, Ploy, and Broadband.18835891_10158750613125023_2246365236600138532_n19642790_941202462687563_616458238059472206_nThese gigs are super cool and hot and lovely so please come out to them!
  6. The following day Kids Luv Cops is playing Sulfest in Tewksbury with Humans and Us, Ice Cream Orphan, Rapture, Casinoland, and Girlscoutcookies! 19510618_1895339140726332_707878022058782097_n
  7. Kids Luv Cops’s last show is happening July 20th at Sandro’s house, hit us up if you want the address and want to come. It’ll have us, Nick Owen, Sarcasm, Lucy Morrison, Christina, Corey Ames, Trashcan Businessman, Muttnik, Pete & The Rabbits, Mushroom Death Suit, and Boxed Water. It’s going to be beautiful and sad and lovely.

– hugh

Scene Update 6/6/17

Hello friends! So much is going on and it makes me so fucking happy to say that bless you all! First for the roundup!

  • We had a show at the Mahasement, which was so excellent and it made me so happy to see so many new faces singing along and dancing and moshing. We had Dwarf Planet, Christina, Lucy Morrison, Iris Johnson, Kids Luv Cops, Boxed Water, Muttnik, Pete and The Rabbits, Jason Fletcher, Corey Ames, and Thomas Brockway.  It was so freaking awesome to see everyone there and we had such a good time.
  • Nick Owen played a show the following night at Pussy Cabana with Mint Green, Honeymooner, Ironclad, and Puppy Problems, which was super sick and so freaking fun.

UPCOMING

  • Boxed Water, Concord’s very own thrash/surf/death metal band have started recording their demo/EP and it sounds super fucking tight! They’re all just sophomores and they’ll go so fucking far I just know it.
19047198_852431248267051_548325444_o

The bois from Boxed Water in the studio

  • Kids Luv Cops is recording the new EP! It’ll be three songs and we got bass and drums done for all of the tracks yesterday and vocals done for 2/3 today. We’ll be tracking guitar and finishing vocals next week so get excited! Check our instagram @kidsluvcops for a sneak peak of our new song “Pharmacist”
  • There’s gonna be a METCO 50th Anniversary event at the high school which Kids Luv Cops and a bunch of other TBA bands are playing! Be sure to come on out and support METCO! It’s this Saturday from 4-7pm come on out a!
  • On June 23rd Nick Owen is playing solo with Paths, Oddysseys, and Daephne (their last show) at the Democracy Center. It’s also his first show playing with Julian Berosh (from Honeymooner and Daephne) as Alix and I are moving on from his band! It’s been a good run and we wish him the best.

Thanks all for reading and please contact me if you have any questions or want to write anything for the blog! I’m also trying to figure out who to pass it on to when I leave so please let me know if you wanna keep tabs on the Concord scene after I go!

love you all,

hugh

Why Chris Cornell Mattered to Me

When I woke up Thursday morning to the news that Chris Cornell had died, I was stunned. There was no warning, no news preceding it of drug problems, mental health issues, or even general health issues. There was barely any news about Chris or Soundgarden at all. So to wake up to the news that a 52 year old who I had admired and been inspired by for years had died was crushing. I woke up, checked my phone, and started crying.

soundgarden2010new

Chris Cornell is such a name in my life, with his vocal work being an essential part of my childhood and of my current teenage years. His work with Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave soundtracked those years for me. Even his shoutout in “Vans Song” by the Suicide Machines was a part of it.

Chris was really there for me at a time when I needed it. It came sophomore year at a point when I was lost musically, when writing music seemed impossible and my inability to do so depressed me to no end. When I discovered Temple of the Dog during that April Break, I really really needed it. Those two hits “Hunger Strike” and “Say Hello to Heaven” hit me when I needed them, they provided emotional release.

Soundgarden hit me that summer. I found a CD of “Superunknown” at the local library and didn’t think much of it when I threw it in the CD player. From the first track I knew I’d found something new. It was heavier than anything I’d ever heard at that point, with drop and down tunings and riffs for fucking days. Despite the progressive leanings of the band their songs remained catchy and would get stuck in my head. While I still can’t wrap my head around the ridiculous time signature changes they use, the warped progressive and alternative metal they put out influenced me in both subtle and blatant ways. I never would have figured out that some of my favorite tracks by them were in 15/8 or continuously shifted between 7/4 and 4/4. Tracks like “4th of July” “The Day I Tried to Live” and especially “Limo Wreck” defined my summer, it was music for oppressively hot weather.  Cornell’s four octave vocal range was hypnotizing to me, able to hit those classic rock high notes while remaining grunge and hip. He’s part of why I eventually started to sing rather than shout/yell. Soundgarden is why I started writing alternative metal influenced music.

While many will criticize this band as being overly masculine, and maybe that’s true, if anything Soundgarden redefined masculinity for me. Their lyrics are delivered with a combination of aggression and and vulnerability that I really connected with and that shaped who I am. Their music makes me feel confident without making me feel like an asshole.

Chris shaped both the music I write and who I am as a person, and while I can’t pretend I knew him at all, I feel like I did because I knew his art. Chris mattered so much to so many people and I want to let anyone reading this that you matter too and that there are people in your life who love and support you.

Rest in Power Chris Cornell

-hugh

The Albums So Far 5/11/17

Here’s another bunch of albums that were released in 2017 so far and my extremely quick thoughts on them!

Private Island – Honeymooner

Honeymooner is a local indie rock band composed of Julian Berosh and Ryan Higgins (both of which were in Daephne) and they just released a two track EP called Private Island, which is super excellent. It’s indie rock with a heavier edge that’s pretty catchy and I’d recommend it to everyone. I’ve been listening to the song “Planet” pretty much non stop for the past few days. It’s a great release.

This Old Dog – Mac Demarco

This is a super good record. It’s more somber than his past records have been, a little more introspective, but it’s still Mac Demarco, and is instantly recognizable as such. This is my favorite record of his so far, with extremely well written tracks and a very consistent mood and sound.  Fav Tracks: This Old Dog, Moonlight on the River

EP3 – Shutups

I fucking love this EP. I fucking love this band. I found out about them by wandering into a random show when visiting Portland last month and immediately fell in love. They describe their music as “thrashy, dirty, but also comfortable pop punk music that makes Tom Delonge want to squeegee his eyeballs as he prunes in his Beverly Hills jacuzzi”. And boy are they correct. They play fast paced west-coast pop punk with extremely well written hooks and truly incredible guitar playing. Live they play everything faster than on the record and it’s exhilarating. Go back and visit their previous EP as well it’s great. My favorite tracks on this one are: June, Flat Footed

Slowdive – Slowdive

This is a pretty good return to form for Slowdive, continuing their tradition of slow, floating dreamy songs that are absolutely fucking beautiful. If you’re a shoegaze/dreampop fan and you were a little worried about this reunion album, don’t be. It’s super good. Fav Tracks: Don’t Know Why, Go Get It

Baseball Practice – The Rupert Selection

A great record from local progressive rock band The Rupert Selection. They sound like a proggy Quicksand or Soundgarden, with heavy and complex riffs for fucking days. It’s totally worth a listen if you’re into that kind of stuff (I know I am). Fav Tracks: Tree Hands, Mooncats in Taxi Cabs

Other Albums I’ve Been Digging a lot:

Literally Every Single Orchid Album: Goddammit I don’t know why I put off these guys for so long. It’s real screamo folks and it kills. It’s unbelievably amazing holy fucking shit give them a shot.

Every Single King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Album: See previous piece I wrote about why they’re the best.

MM3 – Meta Meta: This is latin punk-jazz and it kills. It just kills.

Deep Dives: A History of Post Punk

Today on my show from 2:20-4 I will be covering a history of post punk, from garage-psych through post punk, post hardcore through math rock! There’s a lot of ground to cover but I’m doing my best with the time I have.

5cfe98c6-a2d9-4017-8d84-eca4007078a5

The Stranglers

  • Monk Time – The Monks
  • Venus in Furs – The Velvet Underground
  • 30 Seconds Over Tokyo – Pere Ubu
  • See No Evil – Television
  • Dead Loss Angeles – The Stranglers
  • Reuters – Wire
  • Mister Ray – Suicide
  • Designed to Kill – The Contortions
  • Jocko Homo – DEVO
  • Armalite Rifle – Gang Of Four
  • Mother-Sister! – The Fall
  • Weatherbox – Mission of Burma
  • Stay Here – Swans
  • Shit From An Old Notebook – Minutemen
  • This Charming Man – The Smiths
  • Jak – Volcano Suns
  • The Power of Independent Trucking – Big Black
  • Repeater – Fugazi
  • Only Shallow
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Breadcrumb Trail – Slint
  • Making Money For The Freak Machines
  • Crow – Shellac
  • Skip Tracer – Sonic Youth
  • Pickpocket – At The Drive-In
  • Biblical Violence – Hella
  • Men For Miles – Ought
  • Dust – Parquet Courts
  • Mother – Idles

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/1299856436/playlist/64Y5YhY2JW7BsmZb6hE4GN

Taking Over The World: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

This is the beginning of a new segment on this blog called “Taking Over The World”. This will be a rare segment and will only surface when I think a band is about to or is in the process of taking over the world. This is a rare occurrence, as a live show or album has to be not only amazing, but groundbreaking and inventive. I listen to a lot of music, and it’s extremely rarely that I find a band that’s taking over the world.

I found a band that’s doing so as we speak. They are called King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and they are the best fucking thing to happen to music since Godspeed You! Black Emperor. This is a band that’s hilarious, wildly inventive, innovative, unique, and just so fucking good.

King-Gizzard-and-the-Lizard-Wizard-Live

King Gizzard is an Australian psychedelic rock band that has flirted and subsequently made passionate passionate love with so many genres it’s hard to pinpoint where they fall exactly. Garage rock, 60’s psych pop, progressive rock, punk, heavy metal, surf rock, spaghetti western, blues, and latin jazz are all genres they’ve experimented with and utilized. Each album of theirs sounds distinctly different from the last. Their experimentation doesn’t end simply at genre. They bring unique instruments that aren’t usually seen on rock records in the 2010’s. They have flutes, clarinet, harmonica, upright bass, turkish flute, baglama, and fiddle. They even experimented with custom microtonal bananas on their latest record “Flying Microtonal Banana”, which is fucking crazy. No western music album that uses microtones has been this good since Satori by Flower Travellin’ Band, and that was in nineteen seventy fucking one. And this record is even better than that.

Their songs are unconventional yet hooky, experimental yet tangible. They don’t go overboard, they’re not pretentious. They do what they feel is right, and what they feel is right has worked really fucking well so far.

This band brings an energy to each record that I haven’t heard from any band ever. Each performance is so fucking caffeinated it’s unbelievable. I mean jesus christ these guys are insane. Watch any live performance and you will feel the energy flowing into you.

Here’s a rundown of their major releases thus far (there are a fucking lot of them for band that’s only been around since 2011).

  • Willoughby’s Beach: A hooky garage rock EP that’s pretty good! Fav Tracks: Let It Bleed, Dead Beat

a0761855046_10.jpg

  • 12 Bar Bruise: Their debut LP, they continue their brand of weird hooky noisy garage on this record. As with the last EP, they’re not free of their influences yet. Fav Tracks: Muckraker, Garage Liddiard

a3529909906_10

  • Eyes Like The Sky: A truly bizarre spaghetti-western spoken world album. Fav Tracks: Evil Man, The God Man’s Goat Lust

a1198126189_10.jpg

  • Float Along – Fill Your Lungs: King Gizzard start to incorporate more psychedelic sounds into this record, they’re starting to come into their own here. Fav Tracks: Let Me Mend The Past, Float Along – Fill Your Lungs

a3907213656_10

  • Oddments: A floating psychedelic record, not as stylistically focused as other albums but still great. It varies from psych rock to weirdo folk. Fav Tracks: Work This Time, It’s Got Old, Alluda Majaka, Homeless Man in Addidas

a0348996479_10.jpg

  • I’m In Your Mind Fuzz: This album sets up the sci-fi trilogy that they’d pursue on Nonagon Infinity and presumably the upcoming Murder of the Universe. It’s dense and heavy psych-rock that just doesn’t let up. Fav Tracks: Slow Jam 1, Satan Speeds Up

a3937834400_10

  • Quarters: An album split into four ten minute songs that range from latin jazz to floating psych-rock. Fav Track: The River

a3796441552_10.jpg

  • Paper Maché Dream Balloon: A bunch of entirely acoustic 60’s psych pop style songs that are extremely catchy and fun. The use of flute and clarinet on this album is really well done and it will be stuck in your head for days. Fav Tracks: Time=$$$, Bone, Paper Maché

a2280704800_10.jpg

  • Nonagon Infinity: A dense dense intense psychedelic garage-punk record. I mean jesus this thing has so many layers and is so fast that you barely have time to process it. Every song flows from one to the next, creating a cohesive listening experience, with the last song flowing back into the first to create the “infinity”. Fav Tracks: People Vultures, Gamma Knife, Big Fig Waspa1566708845_10.jpg
  • Flying Microtonal Banana: An experimentation into the realm of microtones (notes we don’t have in western music, notes between notes if you will). Reminiscent of Flower Travellin’ Band, it’s a heavy, often slow psychedelic rock album. It’s droney and quite meditative. Fav Tracks: Anoxia, Nuclear Fusion

a2731568276_10

  • Murder Of The Universe: It’s not out yet but based on the teaser tracks and the live performance of “Lord of Lightning” it’s gonna be dense crazy noisy wild psych rock channelled through Volume 1- era Sleep. I’m so fucking excited for this record y’all have no idea. Fav Tracks (so far): Lord of Lightning, Digital Black

a3406870115_10.jpg

I truly hope that I have converted at least one more person to the cult of King Gizz, for they truly are an incredibly special band. It’s brilliant, experimental, and fun music that truly connects and is pushing the envelope in todays music world.

ALL HAIL KING GIZZ

ALL HAIL PEOPLE VULTURES

– hugh

 

Deep Dives: A History of Punk

Hey everyone I’ve got my radio show today, and I’m doing a history of punk up through the year 2000! I start with garage rock, move to early punk through hardcore, emo to crossover thrash!

 

  • Strychnine – The Sonics
  • Monk Time – The Monks
  • Kick Out The Jams – MC5
  • Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • I Wanna Be Your Dog – The Stooges
  • Search and Destroy – The Stooges
  • Personality Crisis – The New York Dolls
  • Judy is a Punk – The Ramones
  • Sonic Reducer – The Dead Boys
  • Love Comes in Spurts – Richard Hell & The Voidoids
  • Bodies – Sex Pistols
  • No No No – Generation X
  • Reuters – Wire
  • Fix Me – Black Flag
  • Suspect Device – Black Flag
  • Dead Loss Angeles – The Stranglers
  • The Prisoner – D.O.A
  • Where Eagles Dare – The Misfits
  • Pay To Cum – Bad Brains
  • Paid Vacation – Circle Jerks
  • Straight Edge – Minor Threat
  • Suburban Home – Descendents
  • Subliminal – Suicidal Tendencies
  • Shit From An Old Notebook
  • Nothing Left Inside – Black Flag
  • For Want Of – D.R.I
  • New Direction – Gorilla Biscuits
  • Sound System – Operation Ivy
  • Shut The Door – Fugazi
  • No Spiritual Surrender – Inside Out
  • Green Day – Green Day
  • Audience – Farside
  • Single White Female – The Movielife

Scene Update 4/18/17

Hey folks! I’m gonna talk about some stuff that’s happened recently and then move onto upcoming shit!

  • C.C.C.H.S, Concord Carlisle’s very own communist collective had a rally @undisclosed in West Concord! I played a few communist folk/punk songs, as did Corey Ames, who also gave a rousing speech that inspired us all to revolt against the bourgeoisie! It was ended by a group sing that was inspiring and united us all against the corporate masses!
  • Kids Luv Cops have also begun working on their second EP which will be out by June!

Upcoming:

  • We have a WIQH Open Mic/Potluck coming up on Friday, April 28th! Come to CCHS and bring food and listen to some great music!!!
  • Nick Owen is also playing a show the following day on Saturday April 29th with Nice Guys, Beautiful Woman, and Cult Fiction! Check the FB event for details!
  • The following Friday the wonderful Jenny Jantzen is hosting an open mic/tea party at her house, so bring scones, tea, and guitars!
  • May 26th, Maheeb is hosting a show at his residence featuring a whole bunch of Concord artists!
  • Later in May on the 27th, Nick is playing another show with Prior Panic, Honeymooner, Ironclad, and Mint Green! Check the FB event for more details!

As always, look at the show calendar for links and dates!