Music

Rock Your Holiday Socks Off: December Music News & Shows

Corinne Southern & The Constellations – Celestial Body EP

On Celestial Body, Corinne Southern & The Celestials mix it up stylistically across three tracks. The cheeky opener, “Polaroid Picture (Of My Ass),” has a funk-fueled party vibe with hardcore gang vocals for the chorus of “my ass.” “Raise The Dead” is a blues romp in the vein of The Cramps. “Rhode Island Rock Star” is probably the best song I’ve heard about aspirations meeting the reality of being a local musician, set to a driving Americana stomp. Celestial Body is available now on your streaming service of choice.  

Glowing Cloud – In Over My Mind EP

The second EP this year from Glowing Cloud offers up three new intergalactic toe tappers.  Glowing Cloud is local musician Eric Smith (Sweet Dreams, The Cold War) who plays all the instruments and records everything in his home studio. From the opening spacey synths to the Joy Division-like guitars at the end, “Bonfire, NY” simmers into the ether. “Glocester Space Boy” is the rocker here dressed up with a fresh coat of shoegaze hooks. My favorite jam “I Dreamt I Was a Cloud” sounds like 90’s Brit-pop played by aliens. In Over My Mind is available on all the streaming services. 

Sonny Vincent – Snake Pit Therapy (Svart Records) 

Over fifty years into his career, Sonny Vincent is still making urgent music that burns as hot as ever. Vincent is best known for coming to prominence in the 1970s New York City punk scene with his band The Testors. Over the years the list of his collaborators reads like a punk rock hall of fame that includes members of the Velvet Underground, The Damned, The Stooges, Rocket From The Crypt, Sex Pistols, Replacements, and Pentagram among others. On Snake Pit Therapy, Vincent has plenty of rockers like “Ruby Diamond” and “Japan Mofo” to shred on but it’s his storytelling that makes it special. The thrash is dialed back in favor of harmonies on about half of Snake Pit Therapy. Tunes like “Can’t Absorb” and “Messed Up In Blue” aren’t for the mosh pit but they’re on heavy rotation on my stereo. The closing “Forest” has a ’60s psychedelic vibe with a comforting message that “you are not alone in the forest of the broken hearts.” Snake Pit Therapy is on all the streaming services as well as being available on vinyl and CD.

Department of Teleportation – Self-Titled

From the opening crunch of “Spatial Forces,” Department of Teleportation reminds me of the band Helmet. The general elements of noise and punk are there in “Bento’s Kingdom” and “Horseshit Bravo.” “Slow Soft Wind” leans more to the experimental noise side without losing passion. My favorite tunes on here are the ones that tend to conform to traditional song structures like “Spatial Forces” and “Can We Leave Now?” but I also realize that isn’t what Department of Teleportation is trying to accomplish on the pure noise numbers. It’s an interesting listen and worth checking out for fans of noise, punk and metal. Department of Teleportation’s Self Titled EP is available on Bandcamp.

Five Shows That Don’t Blow:

Hope Anchor / Kurt Baker / The Fatal Flaw will rock Askew on December 4. 

It’s been too long since I’ve caught Hope Anchor’s post-punk collage of sonic melody. This is for fans of Echo & the Bunnymen, Jesus & Mary Chain and ’80’s goth rock. 

Start Making Sense (Talking Heads cover band) and Baylies Band will rock the Met Cafe on December 4. 

This is the only show people from my hockey league ever want to go to. Talking Heads cover band sums up the description but I will add that Start Making Sense are really good at being that.

Max Creek’s 50th anniversary at the Met Cafe on December 10.

I usually don’t write about hippy bands but it feels like 50 years deserves a tip of the hat. Cheers to Max Creek, they still kick out the (very long) jams that hippies tend to enjoy. Max Creek shows are also some of the best people-watching experiences anywhere. 

The Figgs and The Benji’s rock The Parlour on December 11. 

The Figgs are always money for turbo charged power pop thrills and spills. They formed over thirty years ago so there is no shortage of material, they usually play at least a couple of hours. Definitely get there early for one of my favorite local bands, The Benji’s! The Benji’s are more electronic but still have a sleigh full of infectious jams. 

The 7th Ugly Sweater Party featuring Minibeast / The Moodrunners / Sugar Cones / a Dead Bird rock The Parlour on December 18.

Dress up in an ugly sweater or don’t, either way a serious racket will be kicked up at this show. Minibeast is a noise trio featuring Peter Prescott of Mission of Burma fame. The Moodrunners are pure power pop. Sugar Cones are basically punk rock. Dead Bird have a dumb name and I can’t speak to their music.

Other Rad Shows This Month: 

Steve Smith & The Nakeds rock the Met Cafe on December 5. 

Outer Heaven / Churchburn (Record Release Party) / Come To Grief / Edict / New Hell will put the pedal to the metal at Alchemy on December 10.

Miss Tess and The Talkbacks are at Askew on December 10. 

Hey Nineteen Steely Dan Tribute will have the Met Cafe’s dancefloor hopping on December 11. 

Jesse Dayton and Sarah Borges are at Askew on December 12. 

GA-20 / The National Reserve / Smith & Weeden will rock the Met Cafe on December 16.  

Larry’s Lounge Variety Show comes to the Met Cafe on December 23. 

Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.com

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