Tag «folkpunk»

Show Review: Hallowmas 20 With World/Inferno Friendship Society

All photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
World/Inferno Friendship Society truly puts on one of the best Halloween spectacles in the world.

Danielle Kolker of Brooklyn based folk-punk band Out of System Transfer had to turn down a gig with her other project, Funk Rust Brass Band, on Oct. 31 to tend to a religious obligation. That spiritual commitment was World/Inferno Friendship Society’s annual Halloween rowdy down Hallowmas at The Warsaw. As much as Kolker was half joking with her bandmates about why she had to miss the show, calling what transpired in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on All Hallow’s Eve a religious experience isn’t that far from the truth.

The chief pontificator of The Great Pumpkin Jack Terricloth lead his congregation of crusties, misfits, punks, and weirdos on a nearly two-hour long vision quest of intrigue and drama culminating in a rousing rendition of the old World/Inferno hymn “Pumpkin Time.” Terricloth is a cult unto himself and with his absurdly talented brood behind him, it’s hard not fall hook, line, and sinker for his silver-tongued sermons revolving around the aforementioned gourde, the history of WIFS, and the finer points of mischief-making.

It goes without saying that Halloween is a big night in New York City and even with the likes of Gwar and the Parliament Funkadelic putting on competing shows within the borders of the Big Apple WIFS loyal Infernites still made their way to the National Polish Home in Northwest Brooklyn to worship at the altar of the Great Pumpkin. For those who were counted, they were given a real treat of a show for the 20th annual Hallowmas.

It was definitely an intimate affair for World/Inferno and all the Infernites.

On this special evening World/Inferno decided not to open with their usual score “Tattoos Fade” and went instead with “Ich Erinnere Mich An Die Weimarer Republik” and allowed the crowd to sing out the masterful lyrics “I’m a fag, I’m a Jew, how do you do? That’s Mr. Anarchist to you,” but really the whole evening was just one big singalong. The band went through tunes like “Politics of Passing Out,” “The Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater,” “And Embarked on a Life of Poverty,” “American Mercurial” “Addicted to Bad Ideas,” “Your Younger Man,” and slew of others while the crowd sloshed along dancing, singing, and drinking. WIFS even had their opening act the Lowdown Brass Band jump on stage to add a few extra horns to certain numbers including the opener and “Pumpkin Time.”

With all the costume-clad dancers and the overall design of The Warsaw the whole event kind of felt like a school dance … if your school hired a band fronted by the twisted love child of Frank Sinatra and Elvira who was possibly baptized by satan. But that’s the real fun of Hallowmas, it’s a night to leave the pretension at home and just jump in the Moshpit dressed as Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan.

There was no way Bill and Ted were going to miss this rock show.

After 20-years of being one of New York City’s best kept Halloween secrets World/Inferno says they are ready for 20 more. Hell, when the fans who are now half the age of the band still come out in droves for the chance to party it up with the Pumpkin King it’s easy to see why Hallowmas is still one of the best punk events in NYC and by far the best yearly punk shows still kicking in the Volcano.

The Lowdown Brass Band really takes their name to heart as they decided to get down low onto the venue’s floor to entertain the hordes.

The Lowdown Brass Band and Of Death opened the evening. Lowdown captured the crowd with their marching band style tunes and high energy. While the crusties got to moshing to Of Deaths almost alt-country affectations.

Here’s hoping Travis James and the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists can open Hallowmas 21 and hats off to Terricloth and the gang for giving all the miscreants something to do on Halloween until the bars close and the real fun can begin.

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Interview: World/Inferno Friendship Society’s Jack Terricloth on the origin of Hallowmass

All Photos By Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Mr. Terricloth giving his all at Hallowmas 19.

It’s been 20-years since The World/Inferno Friendship Society put on their first “official” Hallowmas at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey and it was a spectacle to behold. The group had only been together a short while, they’d released three-singles, and they even managed to get some love from the Village Voice. Not a bad kick off party for a new band’s new event. However, according to Jack Terricloth W/IFS has been celebrating Hallowmas since well before 1997.

“In a very real way, Inferno had been celebrating Hallowmas long before we were making music. Back in Jersey, we were a mischief gang long before our musical ambitions usurped the name.A lot of the gang members could play something, the ones who couldn’t we gave a drum. So instead of having a private bacchanal, we had a public one. Worked out.” said Terriclcoth.

From those humble Garden State roots sprang what has become one of New York City’s best Halloween celebrations. It’s not just a celebration of a fun holiday, but one of New York’s last standing cult phenom’s The World/Inferno Friendship Society.

“It is our holiday, It is the way we mark time, it is the holiday unmarked by a patriarchal tyrant and if you ask people for candy they give it to you. A gift!” Says the eccentric Terricloth.

He has been the proprietor of Hallowmas for its entire two-decade run, and even after running the show for so long Terricloth remains the central force behind the growth of Hallowmas from a little show in Jersey to one of New York Cities best Halloween events.

“It is still very DIY. I’m over at Warsaw twice a week checking out the projections, up all night writing Hallowmissives and filling out postcards and in clubs every weekend ducking and a weaving your shot glasses. Like life this job does not get any easier, just different,” said the Pumpkin King.

The main difference from year one to year 20 has to be the growth in the venue. While Maxwell’s is no hole in the wall the northern New Jersey launching pad is nowhere near the size of W/IFS current Hallowmas venue, The Warsaw in Green point which is cavernous in comparison. Also presumably the good folks over at Scenic Presents like ‘ole Jack Terricloth and the World/Inferno a little better than the promoter at Maxwell’s did back in the late 90’s.

“The booker at Maxwell’s really didn’t like my previous band Sticks and Stones but I had changed my name and band so I don’t think he cared enough to care (there are knowns and known unknowns). His name was Todd Abramson, I used to call him every other day in SAS to get a gig! He finally gave in and gave us a Thursday night. Todd called a couple days before the show and said ‘The Hoodoo Gurus are playing Thursday’ and I said ‘Oh cool, I’d love to play with the Hoodoo Gurus! ‘mars needs guitars!’ to which he replied ‘No, you don’t understand. The Hoodoo Gurus are playing. You’re not’ and hung up. I had to tell this to the band who of course blamed me and not The Hoodoo Gurus. Decades later I told this story doing the acoustic thing in support of Kevin Second’s acoustic thing at Maxwell’s and was promptly told I was banned from Maxwell’s again,” said Terricloth.

Hallowmas is going down on Oct. 31 at The Warsaw and tickets are still very much available.

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Jack Terricloth Really Wants to Hear From Sly Stone, Talks New World/Inferno Record, and How He Met Stza Crack Through Their Dealer

Photo by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photograpjy
Jack Terricloth of World/Inferno Friendship Society at Hallowmas 2016.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society is more like a punk circus than it is a band, and Jack Terricloth has been the unquestioned ringleader for more than twenty years. It’s hard to believe that a sound so bizarre has endured for more than two decades, especially among the New York punk scene which has very little tolerance for nuance. But WIFS has carved out their niche in the Big Apple with a mix of otherworldly talent and theatrical pageantry unmatched by any of their contemporaries.

The group has truly graduated some greats, like Brian Viglione of the Dresden Dolls, Yula Beeri, and Franz Nicolay (to name just a few). But no matter who they have to replace, they continue to bring the same level of tenacity, talent, and showmanship, due in large part to their diabolical leader Mr. Terricloth.

WIFS has an imminent big-time show at one of Brooklyn’s up-and-coming punk venues, Brooklyn Bazaar, and they are working tirelessly on their new record. But preparatory to unleashing their 13-piece carnival of horrors onto New York, Jack Terricloth sat down with Dying Scene to talk about the new record, how he hopes to one day reunite with Sly Stone, and meeting the members of Leftover Crack through their mutual drug dealer.

Read the full interview below.

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Album Review: Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists / Diego Galvan- ‘Hostility // Heartbreak

As long as I have known the enigmatic Phoenix folk-punk Travis James, he has been threatening to retire from songwriting and performing, and yet still here he is with a fresh new offering in the form of a split EP with his co-conspirator Diego Galvan. The two crusty buskers have been carrying on a social media bromance for more than a year now, so it makes perfect sense that they’d decide to band together for a team-up record.

Hostility/Heartbreak is a noisy little 8-song album where both James and Galvan lay bare some raw emotions, and it really shows through on their well recorded (for folk-punks) EP.

The record starts off very punchy as most James recordings tend to with the track “Enough.” The song is upbeat and drum-driven with Aaron Hjalmarson turning in a stellar percussion performance while James’s brilliantly simple lyrics make it meaty enough to grasp on to. “I’m setting out to prove that I’ve got nothing to prove, and I’ll prove it, don’t assume it’s got something to do with you,” says James in the track’s chorus as his almost supervillain-like cackle rises above the thunderous cacophony made by his Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists.

But as punchy as “Enough” is, the fiercest fighter on the record might just be the the third track “Like it or Not,” where James seems to shed his persona as the Penguin of Punk and takes on a sound best described as the Oogie Boogie Man of Anarchy. The track is a huge accordion-driven show tune, brought to life by TJAAA’S own Voldemort of the keys Mark Sunman and delivered masterfully. The song also satisfies James’ tradition of having a waltz on every album.

Galvan brings a little less of the World Inferno/Friendship Society side of folk-punk and a whole lot more of the Johnny Hobo side. There is much less musicality and far more lyrically driven tunes banged out on an acoustic guitar. While James is an over-the-top cartoon character when he is inside of his songs, Galvan is as much an everyman as one can possibly be.

The Heartbreak side of Hostility/Heartbreak is a pretty minimal piece of music. It’s just Galvan on guitar and vocals, some percussion, and a female backing vocalist, but it’s beautiful in its simplicity; the young punk really shows off some songwriting chops and a knack for arranging a great pop song.

This first taste of Galvan comes off as an homage to his folk-punk forebears, but it also hints at tremendous upside for a young artist who is just getting going on his musical path.

4/5 Stars

[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=299201390 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5]

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