The Continental bring it with straight forward infectious punk rock. Think of it this way, picture if the Dropkick Murphys of today were not a frat band and were actually… I don’t know, good. The Dropkick reference is escapable with original Dropkick guitarist Rick Barton fronting the band and sharing guitar duties. Barton was also in the seminal ’80sBostonpunk band, The Outlets. The Continental are prepping to release their debut album in June and you can get a sneak preview Friday at the Pvd Social Club. With that in mind, I contacted Barton to get his take on things.
MC: From your days in The Outlets to Dropkicks to Everybody Out to Continental, what has stood out most for you as far as how the punk rock scene and even just the term “punk rock” has evolved?
RB: The whole punk rock label in my opinion is a misnomer. On our most recent tour, it was pointed out to me that the first time that term ever appeared in print was back in the ’60s in reference to Question Mark and The Mysterians. So that was a good 10 years prior to Malcolm McLaren “officially” dubbing the term as legend would have it. So basically, what I’m getting at is I’m not a fan of that term being used as a musical form. I prefer to call the movement that most people say started with The Ramones, simply, original underground Rock & Roll.
The punk thing is basically an attitude and you could possibly say that Little Richard and Chuck Berry were the first Punk Rockers!
Anyway, the biggest change in this underground movement is back in the late ’70s and early ’80s when it was most prevalent people went and sought it out!! Nowadays, they click on it! Kind of sad in my opinion but you can’t fight City Hall.
MC: It must be a thrill playing with your son in Continental. Does it ever create awkward moments between the youthful rebelliousness of a punk rock band and parental responsibilities? It is an interesting dynamic.
RB: Being in a band with my son has been incredibly trying! He pretty much contests and challenges me on everything from band direction to my personal lifestyle! I think I’ve become a disappointment to him as he’s had to experience the real me. Most kids don’t really get to know their parents on this level. But I’m steadfast in my determination and mission to make a small living playing music and hopefully he’ll come to respect me again as a person but that’s his business not mine. In one sense, it’s really good because he no longer puts me on a pedestal and that’s a really tough place for a parent to sit!
MC: Who was your biggest influence as a guitarist?
RB: I don’t really get off on guitar players, I’m a song guy! But, put at gun point, I’d say Malcolm Young, Johnny Ramone, Henry Cluney & Billy Loosigian
The Continental, The McGunks, Down and Outs, and Barroom Heroes will rock to The Pvd Social Club like a hurricane on March 2nd.
The Silks Album Fundraiser
The Silks have been tearing it up for a couple of years, playing everywhere from clubs to living rooms around town If you get out much to see local music, chances are you’ve caught them. For those unfamiliar, The Silks are a like a spicy combination of Delta blues, country, and roots orientated Stones rock that people nowadays loosely term asAmericana. There is just one thing that has been missing from The Silks experience – a record. The Silks aim to change that and our holding a fundraiser to help with the finances at Machines With Magnets. Like a kickstarter project, there are various tiers one can invest into the show with perks like a custom poster from Ghost-Town, a DVD of the show, to even a private concert in your living room. Check out http://www.facebook.com/events/241180289303482/ for the complete info. For an interview titled “Jonas Speaks,” I posed a few questions to singer/guitarist Tyler James Kelly and drummer Matt Donnelly.
MC: I understand you have a ton of material down. How are you guys going about selecting what will and what will not get on the record?
Tyler James Kelly and Matt Donnelly: Natural selection is the way to go for us. We strive for an album that imparts a large spectrum of emotion. We are always writing new material and, at this time, we actually have tunes held over for a second full length. We make sure to take time and pay attention to our musical inclinations . Some tunes get dropped while others get added.
MC: Genre terms likeAmericanaand alternative get overplayed to the point that it becomes impossible to tell what anything sounds like. How do the Silks describe their sound?
Tyler James Kelly and Matt Donnelly: We do not necessarily try to sound like anything specific but to keep things pure and raw, the way we like it. Tradition is one of the most beautiful aspects of playing and writing music. Some of our biggest influences are The Band, The Flamin’ Groovies, Creedance Clearwater Revival
MC: How do you feel the band has evolved?
Tyler James Kelly: With this current lineup, considering our varied individual tastes in music, we work very well together. Jonas for instance, has been playing bass in punk bands for years. On the other hand, Matt has played in a vast array of different types of bands, never playing in the same type of band twice. For me (Tyler-James), I have had a love affair with guitar music since I was a boy. Anything from 1930s country blues to 1970s funk and soul. In our early stages The Silks main focus was exploring traditional modes Ie: Delta Blues, Country,Bluegrass. Over time we have grown to be a band that has evolved to play music that is indicative of a more personal blend of our tastes.
MC: What do you think might surprise people the most when you finish the new album?
Tyler James Kelly and Matt Donnelly: We can feel the anticipation from our fans for the release of this first record. It’s been a long time coming. What might surprise them the most is the fact that they actually have it in-hand.
The Silks and Atlantic Thrills will be rocking Machines With Magnets on March 10th. DJ Ty Jesso will be spinning his Soul Power set between bands. All proceeds will go to funding recording of The Silks debut album.
They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants are one of those love em or hate em type bands. They’re either stuck up nerds who don’t rock or quirky pop geniuses depending upon where you sit. I liken They Might Be Giant’s cult appeal to a band like Ween, where their fans tend to just love them. I’m not really in either camp, but I can’t deny that tunes like “Birdhouse in your Soul” and “Alienation is for the Rich” are damn infectious. They occasionally even rock out with numbers like “Spies.” They Might Be Giants are damn fun live too, unless, of course, one is already in their hater camp.
They Might Be Giants bring the nerdcore to Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on March 9th.
Deer Tick – Drops EP
Deer Tick has released more material from last year’s Divine Providence sessions in the form of a digital download EP titled Tim (Partisan Records). One doesn’t have to go any further than the EP’s title to find the homage to the Replacements that emerged in Deer Tick’s sound on Divine Providence. In fact the first track, “Born at Zero,” sounds eerily like an outtake from the Replacement’s album Tim from everything to the guitar tone to the tempo. Listening to it, I just can picture singer/guitarist John McCauley trying to come up with a song that is in between the Mats’ “Left of the Dial” and “Bastards of the Young.” Lyrically, the tune is a little darker than the Mats but not as bleak as the addiction Hell narrative of the second track, “When It All Falls Down.” The song is kind of a mid-tempo storm with a simple riff that is carried through by waves of fuzz drenched guitars and Rob Crowell’s licks on the keyboards. The mood lightens with the love song “Virginia Gal” that has more of a stripped down blues meets ’70’s rock flavor. Ian O’Neil takes over the mic duties on “She’s Not Spanish,” which is a waltzing lullaby. The EP ends alternate version of McCauley solo on “Main Street,” that was recorded almost immediately after the song was written. The stripped down arrangement works as far as giving the song a new dimension. All and all, these are not simply leftovers throwaways but it is evident why some of these songs didn’t make the cut for Divine Providence.
WBRU Rock Hunt
March Madness is back with the return of the annual WBRU Rock Hunt which has traditionally featured some of the best (and worst) of local music. This year’s event is highlighted by a couple of veteran female fronted acts in indie posters, Roz Raskin and The Rice Cakes and ’90s rock dealers, Grand Evolution. There are some upstarts like Northern Lands, who after some lineup changes have really toughened up their sound and could do some damage, especially in the semi-finals. Bands that have also been making a name for themselves around town to keep an eye while betting include The Anchors. Scarlet, and Satellites Fall. I’m putting my money on the Rice Cakes to win the whole shebang because they’re further along as a band than some of the other acts and have a quirky aspect that separates them from the pack. This plays well when you might be playing to the same judges twice over a short period of time. Here are the details for the semi-finals, keep in mind that all shows start at9PM.
Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes,KidMountain, and Grand Evolution will play the Spot Underground on March 2nd.
Kingston530, Look North, and Satellites Fall will play the Ocean Mist on March 3rd.
Free Hat, Sun of Sound, andNorthernLandswill play The Ruins room at the Colosseum on March 9th. The Anchors, Sic Vita, and Scarlet will play Newport Grand on March 10th.
Email music news to firstname.lastname@example.org and get live updates on Twitter at twitter.com/marcclarkin