WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.

This Past Weekend.
August 7, 2008, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Shows, This Past Weekend

I think I’m just gonna call past show posts by this name, it’s kinda catchy. It might not have been this past weekend, but it’s somewhere back there. I still have a few more videos from a handful of past shows I need to toss up.

Anyhow. Over the last week, our own little hole, BCHQ, has seen some amazing shows. First, I’ll tackle the punk rock show this past Tuesday, then we’ll dive into the big benefit over the weekend.

Tuesday night saw some of my favorite touring friends come through. Mikey Dumps and Josh Redbeard. They’ve come through handfuls of times each with their various other bands or as roadies for various other bands. This time they were swinging through Durham as Jonesin’. Originally it was supposed to be a Down in the Dumps tour, booked months in advance, but some stuff happened after the booking of it and instruments changed hands and names were changed out of respect. So, essentially, it’s the same band with a couple different members but the same two songwriters / singers. I love Down in the Dumps, but after seeing their new material, I think I like Jonesin’ even more. They’re entering into even more darker territories. Some obvious influences are Leatherface and Crimpshrine and they definitely take cues from the No Idea/Gainesville punk sound. That gruff-vocal, melodic punk we love so much and can’t seem to get enough of. Josh comes to us from Off With Their Heads, so there are elements of that brought into Jonesin’s songwriting too.

I can get more behind this style of pop punk because it’s a little more serious. Don’t get me wrong, I love goofy pop punk as much as the next crew, but here the lyrics are a little more poignant and that dark, doomed vibe running down the center of it sends chills up your spine. There’s a certain desolate emotion that comes out of that catchy, deep-throated gasp of singers like Mike and Josh.

The night started with the Begin-Agains:

I hit the record button on my camera a little too late, so I missed the first couple of seconds of this song. So far (of the five songs I’ve listened to from their demo), this track is my favorite. It’s titled “Breadcrumbs.” There’s a very definite early Alkaline Trio vibe coursing through the songwriting, but they tangle that style in with the sound of the early 90s Bay Area pop punk. Think Lookout! and Recess Records. And don’t get all uppity at the sight of an Alkaline Trio comparison, we all love their early records still. The Begin-Agains pull heavily from their Goddamnit and Maybe I’ll Catch Fire albums. They even do a spot-on cover of “Radio.”

Then, the Fellow Project:

The video is a little dark as most of the lights had been turned off, but you can still see it pretty well. Like I mentioned before, this is the next step in the band history of Down in the Dumps. Mikey Dumps and Josh from Off With Their Heads front the band outta their home base of New York. Long Island and Brooklyn, I believe. They’re one of my favorite touring punk bands, hands down. Great guys and awesome, dark melodic punk. The band as it stands right now has only been in existence for a few months, but they already have a split 7″ with Shang-A-Lang released in a split effort between Dirt Cult Records (Shang-A-Lang dude) and Dead Broke Rekerds with two songs by each band. A couple nights before the show in our area, their joint tour had ended and the Shangs had flown back to New Mexico, bummer. I’ve been wanting to see them. Jonesin’ had also printed up a four song tour CDr to take on the road with them. It has the two songs off the split and two more songs. Can’t wait to hear how this band develops! They played a lot of unreleased songs and apparently have numerous projects lined up.

To close the night out, we have The Future Kings of Nowhere:

If I remember correctly, I just posted “10 Simple Murders” up above. As Shayne announced it, the crowd yelled in response and the band surged into the song. It seemed to occur all in one swoop of motion. Shayne has really fallen into the position of band leader and crowd-invoker amazingly well. He’s nailed down the basics of pulling the crowd into your music with you. Very impressive. Big thanks to Shayne and the FKoN crew for pulling out a crowd on a Tuesday night for a last minute show! The Future Kings were a power trio with a charismatic, though geeky frontman. Now they stand in front of the audience powerful and charming in all their geeky glory with the addition of Drowsies‘ members (and a Begin-Again or two) flanking them on keys, horns and gang choruses.

The sound has gone from thin, singer/songwriter poppy rock to eventful, shout-along folkish punk/new wave. I used to draw comparisons to both They Might Be Giants and Elvis Costello. Now, as he’s proven with his choice of cover (“Welcome to the Working Week”) and his confidence, he’s dropping the TMBG association and is diving full bodied into that great upswinging 70s-inspired new wave / punk. He’s always been able to write a song that holds your attention and draws you into it with his wordy lyrics, but not until now has he really come into the sound he’s built his songs for. Take those 70s pop greats – Costello, Nick Lowe and Joe Jackson, and tie on a drink and some modern folk punk – Defiance Ohio, Ghost Mice and This Bike is a Pipe Bomb and you’re getting close to his sound. Great stuff.


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