Disq, Ducks Ltd. @ Baby’s All Right

Disq, Ducks Ltd. @ Baby’s All Right

Disq at Baby’s All Right (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s Disq made their way to Baby’s All Right last week in support of their sophomore album, Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet (Saddle Creek). And while I’m sure everyone in the room was happy to have two albums worth of material to draw from, it was a long wait for band and fans alike. After their debut album Collector was released, the world went into lockdown and abruptly ended their chance to promote it and connect with audiences.

 

With Baby’s small intimate setting, connecting with the audience would not be a problem last week as Disq played to a packed house. The group, led by founding members Isaac deBroux-Slone (vocals/guitar) and Raina Bock (bass/backing vocals), bring a playful intensity to their songs. Whether it’s the more 60’s guitar-strumming pop nugget “Prize Contest Life’” with its noise-rock attack ending, “Cujo Kiddies” with its upbeat electronic yet cool, casual, whatever approach, or the Weezer tinged “This Time,” they manage to marry all these diverse stylings into one that is truly their own.

 

Rounding out the band is Logan Severson (guitar/backing vocals), Shannon Connor (guitar/keys) and Brendan Manley (drums). Having three guitars and multiple people on vocals, all of whom contribute to the songwriting, helps expand their sound as evidenced on Desperately Imagining’s mix of styles. Yet the set’s closing tracks “Communication” and “Daily Routine” show there is a core sound that runs throughout their music, so it will be exciting to see how they continue to evolve and expand on future albums.

 

Disq live, summer 2022

 

Getting the crowd to a fever pitch before Disq took the stage was Toronto’s Ducks Ltd. with their brand of fun jangly alt-pop. Songs so catchy that in between verses, co-founder Tom McGreevy (vocals/rhythm guitar) was himself swaying to the beat and clearly having a great time. McGreevy and fellow Ducks co-founder Evan Lewis (guitar) have crafted a beautiful throwback 80’s sound without ever sounding dated as evidenced on their 2021 album Modern Fiction (Carpark Records). Fans of the Cure will certainly appreciate the guitar and bass melodies, and they even a brilliant cover of “In Between Days” that came out in August with Jane Inc. That cover and others are part of Ducks Ltd. new cover series, The Sincerest Form of Flattery.

 

Scroll down for setlist, pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

Setlist: Civilization Four, Prize Contest Life, Cujo Kiddies, This Time, The Curtain, The Hardest Part, If Only, Charley Chimp, Tightrope, (With Respect To) Loyal Serfs, Meant To Be, Hitting a Nail with a BB Gun, Communication, Daily Routine

 

DUCKS LTD.

Ducks Ltd. performing

Ducks Ltd. performing

Ducks Ltd. performing

Ducks Ltd. performing

Ducks Ltd. performing

Ducks Ltd. performing

Ducks Ltd. performing

Ducks Ltd. performing

Ducks Ltd. performing

 

DISQ

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

Disq performing

 

The Murlocs, Paul Jacobs @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

The Murlocs, Paul Jacobs @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

The Murlocs at Music Hall of Williamsburg (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

I guess blowing minds in NYC a few weeks back with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard wasn’t enough for Ambrose Kenny-Smith, so he decided to come back to Brooklyn this past week and destroy what was left with The Murlocs. There are plenty of people who pull double duty when it comes to bands, but I’ve never seen such kick ass back-to-back shows for both. I was there to cover KGATLW on October 21st at Forest Hills for FTA (coverage can be found here) and couldn’t wait to see harmonica slayer Kenny-Smith with fellow Lizard Wizard Cook Craig on bass, Cal Shortal (from ORB) on guitar, Tim Karmouche (from Crepes) on keys, and Matt Blach (from Beans) on drums, kick it at MHOW and they did not disappoint.  

 

First thing I noticed before The Murlocs even took the stage was the familiar faces from the Forest Hills gig. And everyone discussing their favorite tracks, or favorite album, comparing setlists or who had a bootleg recording. This is definitely not a casual fan—both bands have developed a strong and dedicated fan base. That fervor carried on throughout the set, from the opening riff of “Subsidiary” from the bands sixth full-length album Rapscallion (ATO) released in September on through the closing riff of “Rolling On.”

 

The set included a lot of newer songs from the recently released Rapscallion, like “Living Under a Rock,” “Bellarine Ballerina,” “The Royal Vagabond,” and “Compos Mentis” as well as 2021’s Bittersweet Demons tracks “Francesca” and “Bittersweet Demons.” Whether the songs were old or new, these guys rocked like this is their one and only band, delivering a full throttled performance that found Kenny-Smith on the stage floor by the end of the set. I can’t even imagine how he handles a double bill where the Murlocs opens for KGATLW and he does a combined 4-hour performance in one night but somehow, he does it. And he’s clearly having a good time doing it.

 

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs 

 

Warming up the crowd was multi-instrumentalist, Canadian native, Paul Jacobs, who also pulls double duty. The first time I caught the Paul Jacobs band and rocked out to their 70’s inspired, melodic rock jams, I didn’t even make the connection between them and Jacobs’ other band, Pottery. While he sports long hair now and fronts his own band on vocals and guitar, it was just a few years ago I was capturing a short haired Jacobs beat the hell out of his drums with the post-punk art rock band. Being someone that listens to and is open to so many genres of music myself, I can really appreciate the two totally distinct sounds of both bands. And just like Dave Grohl stepping out from behind his kit in Nirvana to front the Foo Fighters, Jacobs is a natural front man with a solid band behind him. The mix of songs from previous albums and this year’s 185 on the Corner EP recall a simpler, laid back, lo-fi vibe I could imagine being the playlist to a long summer drive. Especially the beat and percussion on tracks like “Christopher Robbins” from 2021’s Pink Dogs on the Green Grass which gets me in a “Low Rider,” Dazed & Confused soundtrack state of mind.

 

Try to catch these two great bands on the remainder of the dates which run through December 2nd on the West Coast.

 

 

Scroll down for setlist, pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

Setlist: Subsidiary, Living Under a Rock, The Royal Vagabond, Withstand, Russian Roulette, Wickr Man, Eating at You, Bittersweet Demons, Bowlegged Beautiful, Violent Dreams, Comfort Zone, Bobbing and Weaving, Bellarine Ballerina, Farewell to Clemency, What If, Compos Mentis, Growing Pains, Skyrocket, Francesca, Reassurance, Rolling On

 

PAUL JACOBS

Paul Jacobs performing

Paul Jacobs performing

Paul Jacobs performing

Paul Jacobs performing

Paul Jacobs performing

Paul Jacobs performing

Paul Jacobs performing

Paul Jacobs performing

 

 

THE MURLOCS

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

The Murlocs performing

Silversun Pickups, Eliza and the Delusionals @ Webster Hall

Silversun Pickups, Eliza and the Delusionals @ Webster Hall

Silversun Pickups at Webster Hall (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

This weekend, NYC was treated to the sounds of Silversun Pickups as they hit Webster Hall to promote their 6th album, Physical Thrills (New Machine Recordings). It was my first time seeing them, and after their mind blowing performance, I’m ready to revisit their discography and possibly even rent a car to follow them on tour.

 

The show opened with the acoustic guitar intro of “Stillness (Way Beyond)” which kicks into a tribal, rhythmic, moody stomper that perfectly set the tone for the evening. From there they launched into the hypnotic syncopated beat of “Sticks and Stones” and at one point I found myself rocking along, camera down, not shooting until I realized I’m in the pit and only get three songs, so I better get to work! It’s easy, though, to get lost in their sound and lead singer Brian Aubert’s beautiful voice.

 

Along with Aubert, the LA based band includes Nikki Monninger on bass and vocals, Chris Guanlo on drums, and Joe Lester on keys. And each member is a standout, with Guanlo and Monninger laying the foundation with some serious beats and grooves, and Lester adding to their atmospheric sound with strings, synths, or piano. And of course, there’s Aubert who not only soars on the mic but is just a beast on his guitar. At points, he would just lose himself in his guitar as he stepped away from the mic to rock out, the flashing spotlights catching glimpses of him as he thrashed around mid-solo. 

 

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups

 

While they opened the night with the first two tracks from Physical Thrills, their set covered songs from other parts of their now 20+ year career. Highlights included “Well Thought Out Twinkles” from 2006’s Carnavas, “Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)” from 2012’s Neck of the Woods, and “Kissing Families” from their 2005 debut EP Pikul. Another standout was “It Doesn’t Matter Why” from 2019’s Widow’s Weeds, reminding us to stop worrying about the afterlife and focus on now. I would have loved to hear “Freakazoid” from Weeds but I’ll just have to wait for the next show.

 

Opening the night was Australia’s Eliza & the Delusionals who have toured with SSPU in the past and clearly won over the hearts of their fans in the process. It was a feel good, more pop based set that had the crowd singing along to singles like the sugary “Nothing Yet,” more contemplative “Just Exit” with its soaring vocals, and 90’s sounding pop nugget “Give You Everything.” I’m not much of a pop person but I can see why fans love their infectious good-time energy and sound, not to mention they put on a great show. Definitely one of those perfect pairings between opener and headliner.

 

Make sure to catch Silversun Pickups on their current tour which takes them up and down the East Coast for the remainder of November and December.

 

Scroll down for setlist, vids and pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

Setlist: Stillness (Way Beyond), Sticks and Stones, Well Thought Out Twinkles, It Doesn’t Matter Why, Panic Switch, Scared Together, The Royal We, Alone on a Hill, Kissing Families, Don’t Know Yet, Hereafter (Way After), Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance), Dots and Dashes (Enough Already), Substitution, Nightlight Encore: Dream at Tempo 050, System Error, Empty Nest, Lazy Eye

 

 

ELIZA & THE DELUSIONALS

Eliza and the Delusionals performing

Eliza and the Delusionals performing

Eliza and the Delusionals performing

Eliza and the Delusionals performing

Eliza and the Delusionals performing

Eliza and the Delusionals performing

Eliza and the Delusionals performing

Eliza and the Delusionals performing

 

 

SILVERSUN PICKUPS

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

Silversun Pickups performing

 

Tunnel, Bottled Up, Dog Date @ Baby’s All Right

Tunnel, Bottled Up, Dog Date @ Baby’s All Right

Tunnel at Baby’s All Right (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Last week saw the return of local/FTA faves, Dog Date, after a 3-month hiatus along with Bottled Up and Tunnel for a pre-Halloween bash at Baby’s All Right. It was great to catch up with these guys as well as be introduced to the sounds of DC based Tunnel, which features legendary drummer Brendan Canty (Rites of Spring, Fugazi, The Messthetics), and who released their single and EP Vanilla (House Of Joy) earlier this year, and Bottled Up who recently released their album Grand Bizarre (Misa Records).

 

Dog Date kicked off the night with a solid set that found the band taking advantage of the season, decked out in their Halloween best. I’ve seen a number of their gigs and the thing I always love is how they rock out like its their last show and always have a great time doing it. Like I mentioned though, this was the first show after taking the summer off after their July tour that took them from Philly to DC, Ohio to Virginia and back. And that was after opening for Surfbort on their tour earlier in this busy year for the NYC based band. And the time off apparently did them good because Dylan, Malcolm, Andy, Leo and Kristian absolutely killed it. And honestly what’s better than watching The Royal Tenenbaum’s Baumer shredding with a belt around his head (Malcolm couldn’t find a tennis headband)?!

 

Dog Date 

 

Bottled Up took the stage next for a complete 180 in sound—an infectious blend of synth based, art rock stompers that got the place grooving. And while there was certainly a mix of synths and drum machines, it was very organic too with the band laying down some solid guitar and bass work. Like Dog Date, the members of Bottled Up were clearly having a good time as they made their way through tracks from Grand Bizarre which incorporated elements of 80’s New Romantic, funk, R&B, post punk, pop and beyond.

 

Headlining the night was Tunnel, who like Bottled Up, are DC based by way of LA. But unlike Bottled’s dance infused rock or Dog’s raw punk energy, Tunnel brought a more thoughtful, moody, atmospheric sound that lent a nice balance to the night overall. And that’s not to say they didn’t rock because they did, but singer Natasha Janfaza clearly has been influenced by the likes of Juliana Hatfield or maybe more recently Palehound. I don’t think I’d be wrong in saying she would have fit in nicely with the 90’s Lilith Fair line-up, though more Hatfield, Heather Nova and Holly McNarland than Sarah McLachlan or the Indigo Girls. And helping bring that edge to Tunnel’s sound on Vanilla, especially singles “Lemonhead” and “Vanilla,” was Canty on drums, and D. Saperstein (ex Flasher) and Owen Wuerker on guitar/bass/keys/percussion. The other thing I appreciated about the songwriting was how Janfaza can sound vulnerable one minute and then soaring the next, like on tracks “Heartfaced Scarshape” and “Monday.” I really look forward to what lies ahead for this band.

 

Read an interview with Natatsha Janfaza talking about the band and the EP here.

 

 

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

DOG DATE

 

 

BOTTLED UP

 

TUNNEL

 

 

Native Sun, The Bobby Lees, Dead Tooth @ Baby’s All Right

Native Sun, The Bobby Lees, Dead Tooth @ Baby’s All Right

Native Sun at Baby’s All Right (photo by Kevin McGann)

 

Last Tuesday night saw the 2nd time in two weeks I’ve been able to catch NY’s Native Sun. And like every show of theirs I’ve attended, they never disappoint. This one was special though as it was to celebrate the release of their EP, Off With Our Heads (Grand Jury Music).

 

Kicking off the night was Brooklyn’s Dead Tooth who brought their genre mixing brand of post-punk hard rock to Baby’s for what would be the first of three hard charging performances that night. Front man Zach James, often times teetering on the edge of the stage, set the tone with an intense performance that had him sing-scream-chanting at the crowd one minute and down on the floor the next. I’ve read that they don’t want to be narrowly defined by any one genre, as they have many disparate influences among them, and it’s that mix of styles that makes their sound so unique. Like their recent single “Sporty Boy,” which is like an upbeat punk/jazz, sax fueled, vocally distorted jam and carries a positive message getting out there and going something. And having fun while you do it which they clearly did that night.

 

 

Next up was Woodstock’s The Bobby Lees who were celebrating the release of their latest full-length album, Bellevue (Ipecac Recordings). The 4-piece rock band consists of Sam Quartin on vocals and guitar, Kendall Wind on bass, Nick Casa on guitar, and Macky Bowman on drums. Formed in 2018 the group released their debut album, Beauty Pageant the following year which landed them the opening slot for acts like Future Islands and The Black Lips. And it’s easy to see why as they clearly leave nothing on the stage, delivering a blistering set that saw all four members attacking their gear. Especially Bowman who may have literally destroyed his kit by set’s end. And of course, there’s Sam Quartin who literally exorcises her demons on stage in a fierce performance—just watch their video for “Bellevue” to get a better understanding. 

 

 

By the time Native Sun took the stage, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy. And who better than Sun to take that energy and push it over the edge?? From the moment front man Danny Gomez, bassist Justin Barry, guitarist Rob Guariglia, and drummer Nico Espinosa took the stage, the crowd was ready to pounce. They had played last week at Elsewhere on an amazing bill with Frech stoner-rock band Slift (our coverage can be found here) to a much bigger room, but it’s these smaller rooms where you really get the full experience. Where the line between band and audience blurs and you wind up with Danny out on the floor while a crowd surfer passes him on their way to the stage.

 

 

Set-wise it was a mix of old favorites “There’s Revolution,” “Big Succ(ess,” “Jesus,” “Off the Dial” and “Juarez” along with new jams “Strawberry Cough,” “When She” and “Called the Doctor” from Off With Our Heads. Speaking of Heads, the EP is now available on Native Sun’s Bandcamp page, from streaming to vinyl to limited edition cassette. And make sure to catch these guys at these small intimate gigs while you still can.

 

Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)

 

DEAD TOOTH

Dead Tooth performing

Dead Tooth performing

Dead Tooth performing

Dead Tooth performing

Dead Tooth performing

 

 

THE BOBBY LEES

The Bobby Lees performing

The Bobby Lees performing

The Bobby Lees performing

The Bobby Lees performing

The Bobby Lees performing

The Bobby Lees performing

The Bobby Lees performing

 

 

NATIVE SUN

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing

Native Sun performing