Almost unarguably, one of the best parts of living in the greater Boston area is the small, passionate community of people working hard and on an independent level to continue to provide an outlet for artists, musicians and creators of all shapes and sizes. There’s been a lot of hand-wringing about the seemingly endless gentrification across the area and the resulting demise of smaller, independent venues, but I’ll be damned if there aren’t some inspiring people and places keeping the scene’s heart pumping strong. Take Charlie’s Kitchen, for example. The two-floor , diner-style burger joint nestled away in Cambridge’s Harvard Square plays host to live music on Monday nights, featuring bills curated by Rebuilder‘s Daniel Carswell, always chock full of solo troubadours and great local and national indie rock and punk bands.
Such was the scene last Monday, when Los Angeles’ Tiny Stills came to town to kick off a run down the east coast that ended with an appearance at Fest in Gainesville. The (I guess we’re calling them) power-pop quartet anchored by singer-songwriter Kailynn West are still on the road in support of their new album Laughing Into The Void, which is one of the catchiest and important albums of 2018 — more on that in the future. They were joined on this night by fellow Fest-ers Oh The Humanity!, the local five-piece who play a particularly shred-worthy metal-infused brand of skate punk that would make bands like A Wilhelm Scream proud. Local project KCUF – Ken and Chris’s Undecided Franchise – played second on this night. While they’re still a relatively new collective, the members are scene vets instantly recognizable from other outlets like Loser’s Circle and Coffin Salesman and OC45 and The Radicals and Live Nude Girls and Back Door Key and probably like 800 other projects I’m forgetting. Boston is a delightfully incestuous place sometimes. Kicking things off was Brook Pridemore, who himself was wrapping up a fairly lengthy run before heading home to Brooklyn. Calling Pridemore a “solo acoustic folk punk” act probably does a disservice to both Brook Pridemore and to your boilerplate solo acoustic folk punks. There’s doom metal and dark humor and fuzzed out guitars and synth pedals (or whatever) and a bunch of other ingredients thrown in the blender in a way that makes Pridemore a unique performer.
It’s nights like these filled with bands out grinding that keep the scene alive. And at Charlie’s, it happens every Monday. Head below to catch our full photo rundown, and stay tuned for more.