November 9, 2012
That Was The Show That Was: Clicky Clicky Community Servings Benefit Show Thank Yous And Wrap-Up
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
A lot of people, places and things made this show happen, and they are, in no particular order: Carl Lavin; Kerri Lavin; Joe McMahon; Rafi Singer; Michael Marotta; Jeff Breeze; WMBR; Jed Gottlieb; The Dig; The Phoenix; The Boston Herald; Adam XII; RadioBostonDotCom; Anngelle Wood; WZLX; Nick Lorenzen; Tracy Gibbs; Tim Leahy; Sarafina Scapicchio; Gareth Dobson; Reuben Bettsak and the unearthly Guillermo Sexo; Sadie Dupuis and Speedy Ortiz; all the guys in Infinity Girl, who are the nicest dudes you'll ever meet; superheroes Benjamin Deily, Lisa Marie Deily and Joshua Pickering who together comprise the mighty Varsity Drag and who each deserve special recognition for their help; Alexei Berrow, Junior Elvis Washington Laidley, Kelly Southern and Lewes Herriot all of the fucking top serious Johnny Foreigner cohort, who we are proud to call our friends, including visual fifth man Benjamin Rausch and driver Evan Bernard; Johnny Foreigner's label heads J. Matthew Nix at Swerp and Jack Clothier at Alcopop; Brad Searles; William Scales, whose counsel we rely on regularly; Cameron Keiber; Richard Bouchard; Michael Piantigini; Berklee's The BIRN; Brendan Mattox at WERS. We are sure we forgot some people, for which we apologize, but the risk of forgetting someone is no excuse for not recognizing the rest of you. Cheers. Yr loved, drummed.
Despite the freak snow storm that blew in Wednesday night, the above-referenced show was a smashing success, albeit one scaled back somewhat by three inches of fairly unexpected slushy snow and 60 mile per hour wind gusts. The 100 or so folks who made it to Great Scott in Allston gave not one glaring expletive about what was going on outside once they made it through the doors, as all four bands on the bill turned in thrilling sets. Openers Infinity Girl, the hottest new band in Boston, brought their wall of sound in from the cold and made the dwindling ranks of the unfamiliar realize quickly why the band is becoming an ever-present fixture on bills around town. They normally lead off with "Please Forget," but this night they held it back, like a pitcher making a hitter wait for the fastball. It was a delicious set, and definitely the best we've seen the foursome play to date. Varsity Drag -- a very late addition to the bill after the snow forced Speedy Ortiz to cancel -- took the stage next, no sound check, hardly time for more than a "how's yer mum" as they strode through the doors and pretty much went right on stage, plugged into borrowed gear, and just slayed. Just turned in a murderously good set, filled with Clicky Clicky faves like "Summer Time," "Skinny Ties" and "Billy Ruane." It gets us every time, when they finish that latter song, and drummer Josh Pickering shouts "it's not the same!" Theirs was a commanding performance, and it included "Drowsy Owls" and "Mind Like A Sieve," new songs fronter Ben Deily is contributing to the planned Lemonheads reunion record we wrote about in September here.
After driving across Connecticut in the snow storm, a trek that took the band 10 hours door to door from New York to Boston, Birmingham, England-based noise-pop savants Johnny Foreigner finally made it onstage -- after some real-time soundcheck -- around 11:20. Just as quickly they dispersed from view, and then drummer Junior began the slow piano melody of the band's soul-crushing ballad "Johnny Foreigner vs. You," with fronter Alexei Berrow and bassist Kelly Southern singing the vocal off mic from different spots within the assembled throng, with many of the suddenly-very-young crowd singing along. The band slowly filtered back on stage, and the final note of "Johnny Foreigner vs. You" became the deafening squall of the first notes of the hyperfizzed anthem "Feels Like Summer." From there, the band turned in a shuddering, exhilarating, floor-shaking set for its Boston debut. Other tunes performed include at least two cuts from the brand new Names EP [review forthcoming], as well as classics "Eyes Wide Terrified," "With Who, Who And What I've Got," and "The Wind And The Weathervanes." A colossal rendition of "Salt, Peppa and Spinderella" inspired spirited moshing and generally threatened the structural integrity of 1222 Commonwealth Avenue. Johnny Foreigner closed with the classic early single "Sofacore," and with the final note the band ditched its gear and Ms. Southern led a giddy coalition of the willing back through the crowd and out the front door of the club to make snow angels on the sidewalk. Insane.
Boston psych-rock phenoms Guillermo Sexo, who are finishing up an extremely promising fifth collection recorded with Justin Pizzoferrato, turned in a focused, otherworldly set of hypnotic guitar workouts and steady grooves. It was the perfect way to ground and round out the evening, with singer/keyboardist Noelle Dorsey's incantations and swirling stage presence leading everyone on a journey inward. The quartet delivered thrilling iterations of "Colour The Noise" and "Skyline" from its most recent collection Secret Wild [review here], closed with the bright and elliptical new cut "Bring Down Your Arms," and then closed down the bar with the gang from Johnny Foreigner late, late in the evening. To say we are overjoyed by how the show went is an understatement, as not only was the music incredible, but we raised a nice chunk of money for Community Servings, which, as readers know, provides free nutritious meals to the chronically ill and their families. While Wednesday is just a fading memory at this point, the need for the services Community Servings provides never goes away. There are two ways anyone reading these words can help RIGHT NOW. First, if you are reading this sometime before Nov. 17, go buy a pie from our good friend Nick, who co-hosted the event with us. All of the money from your purchase goes to help feed those in need. If pie isn't your thing, you can click this link and make a donation of any amount to the organization. Finally, clear your schedules for 2013, 'cause were gonna do this again, for sure. How about some music to take us out?