Tag «New York City»

Show Review: Stza Crack Returns from Mexico for his First Hometown Show in 8 Months

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photgraphy.
Scott Sturgeon of the Crack Rock Steady 7 at The El Cortez in Bushwick

If punk is dead than somebody forgot to tell Scenic Presents and the rest of the New York City punk scene. Because things got live as fuck in the Safari Room at El Cortez in Bushwick, Brooklyn on Sunday evening when Scott Sturgeon’s auxiliary band The Crack Rock Steady 7 swung through for a hoedown.

The room was packed to the gills from start to finish to see Rebelmatic, Skullcaster, Trashy, and late edition (literally added to the bill during the show) Cop/Out get down with the godfather of the Crack Rock Steady beat. But even though Stza was the main attraction the riotous punks in attendance made every band feel welcome by singing along to the lyrics and moshing along to the rhythms.

Left to right Alkatrraz, Creature, and Karnage of Rebelmatic.

Rebelmatic was first up and their drummer Ray Reed is an absolute punisher behind the kit. His ferociousness on the drums sets the entire tone for his bandmates lead singer Creature, guitarist Alkatraz, and bass player Karnage who all come together to drive home some of the most original punk music in The Big Apple.

Skullcaster is fast and heavy just like front man Joey Steele’s other project All Torn Up,

Upstarts Skullcaster, a band that Stza himself claims to have helped name, got up second next and their brand of hardcore punk got the crowd going really good. A little too good in fact and frontman Joey Steele had to banish some crowd destroying bros to the back of the room mid-set. The group shares two members with All Torn Upin Steele, and guitarist Jay Tancer (also of The Crack Rock Steady 7) so they come with a built-in fan base in the City That Never Sleeps and they delivered for their devotees.

Katie Hoos of Cop/Out is an organizer of New York City’s Punk Island along with their bandmates.

Third up was Cop/Out, sort of an all-star team of the New York City politico/punks all of whom help organize Punk Island, an event which they called “the biggest free DIY punk music festival in New York City.” The group didn’t know they were going to be playing until just before the set and the group shares Steele with his other projects as lead singer. He admitted he may have left a little too much on stage opening with Skullcaster but still managed to dial in a more than competent performance that came off as much more tongue in cheek than his other projects.

TransCore darlings Trashy took the slot right before CS7 and even with a singer/guitarist Al working double duty in Cop/Out they put on a tremendous set. To start the set off the group invited anyone was queer, short, or brown to the front of the stage to catch the show.

Santos, bass, and Jayne, drums of Trashy.

They have a much more melodic/poppy sound than the two bands that came before and deliver them in a much more upbeat way than Skullcaster and Cop/Out. Don’t get me wrong, the doom and gloom of anti-capitalism is important … but it’s okay to smile every once in a while too. Some of Trashy’s subject matter may be pretty heavy, but they still deliver it in a fun and relatable way.

Scott Sturgeon and his Crack Rock Steady 7 were really more of a Crack Rock Steady three and a half in the Safari Room on Sunday. Sturg was joined by Tancer on bass and a drummer as well as Enoch on guitar on some songs. Before getting into the set Sturgeon let the crowd know this was his first New York City show in 8-months, which is the longest he had gone without a hometown throwdown in quite some time.

Scott Sturgeon, left, and Jay Tancer headlining as The Crack Rock Steady 7.

The group opened with two Choking Victims tunes and then moved in to “3,000 Miles” by the Star fucking Hipsters before “Fucked Reality,” and “Zombie Christ,” which lead into renditions of “500 Channels” and “Crack Rock Steady.” Stza also unveiled a brand new tune known only as “Metal Banger” for now, which he claims could be the first tune on Leftover Crack’s next record.

Things got pretty choppy when Stza and Tancer switched instruments to go into what they were referring to as:”the extended cut” of “Ya Can’t Go Home.” The bass gave out on Stza multiple times before he decided to take the strap off and throw a mic to the ground and head off stage. Sturgeon’s tantrum lasted about 10-minutes but he did return to the stage once the tech was working again. As a Kanye fan, I was way into the idea of one of my favorite artists leaving the stage a refusing to come back due to tech issues, especially so many songs in. But heaving Stza re-enter and finish out strong wasn’t a bad way to go either.

Crowd surfers abound all night at The El Cortez.

After the intermission it was a few more songs including “Money Change,” and “Born To Die,” and The Crack Rock Steady 7 closing out strong. Frankly, it was a lot like watching a rehearsal, but when it’s Crack Daddy Caine himself playing the tunes and a familiar New York punk audience that ain’t so bad.

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THICK (punk) releases video for “Girlie”

Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
THICK at Palisades in Bushwick, Brooklyn, winter of 2016.

New York punk three-piece THICK released a brand new video on January 18th for their tune “Girlie” and it’s the group’s first new track since October of 2016. “Girlie” is a kick-ass song that uses some pretty intense vocal harmonies to sell the chorus and it translated into an even more kick-ass video complete with lighthearted shenanigans, headbanging and a group of incorrigible ladies reaping havoc all over New York City.

Check out the video below.

THICK has quite a few New York area shows coming up in the next few months, so now is the time to see them on the cheap before they start selling out venues nationwide.

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The Mad Doctors (punk) stream new single “Yuengling Malmsteen”

Brooklyn, New York’s The Mad Doctors have got to be the hardest working band in the big apple. It seems like they just can’t go a week without a gig, a release, or getting up and out of NYC for tour dates all over the North East and beyond.

Just yesterday Seth Applebaum, Josh Park, and Greg Hanson released another new single with “Yuengling Malmsteen,” which is their beer soaked side of a split 7” with fellow Brooklynites Heavy Traffic. The new tune came on Aug. 11 along with an announcement of the opening of vinyl pre-orders which will be available Sept. 22.

“Yuengling Malmsteen” is the right sort of track to hit the booze hard to, and then to hit someone else. It’s the sort of song that you can envision a liquor fueled barroom brawl between gargantuan bikers and dangerous punks going down in your local dive. Give it a listen below.

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Show Review: From Ireland to New York City Leftover Crack Kills

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Leftover Crack made it from the stage in Dublin to the Stage in Brooklyn in less than 24-hours and looked damn good doing it .

Watching Leftover Crack frontman Scott Sturgeon perform in 2017 is somewhat akin to watching the film Logan. He’s getting old and a little beat up, but he’s still every bit as feisty as he was at 21. We even get to see him do battle with X-24 in the form of all the Crack Rock Steady imitators out there copping Stza’s swag — and just like in Logan, the original wins out.

At the ripe old age of 41, Stza finds a way to put on electric shows night after night and from nation to nation. I’m 29, and I don’t think I’d be able to play a show in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday night, then fly straight back to New York City for a 5 p.m. Sunday timeslot in Tompkins Square Park before taking the stage at 10 p.m. in Greenpoint.

But Stza does and he does it well; he brings the explosive performance of a much younger man and mixes it with skills acquired as a frontman over the past twenty years, making for one of the most engaging lead singers in punk. This was my first time seeing Leftover Crack, so I’d never seen Stza play without a guitar before, and the freedom of not having an instrument slung on his back all night really showed in his movement and stage presence.

I, unfortunately, missed the Tompkins set because I had to be at my day job, but when I informed one of the contractors at work, he snuck off across the East River to catch the show. He reappeared with photos and fresh bruises from the mosh pit.

Bass player Alec Baille

In October 2016, Choking Victim played the Warsaw on the 30th and World/Inferno Friendship Society played their annual Hallowmas the following night. In August 2017, World/Inferno led the charge, playing Brooklyn Bazaar on the 5th while Stza rolled out his other mob, Leftover Crack, to close out the weekend on the 6th. Once again, Robert and Andrew over at Scenic Presents managed to attain a festival vibe without crazy high ticket prices (or even a festival).

Stza also let fly that Leftover Crack is working on new material. He said it might take them the better part of a decade to release it, but that it is on the way.

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Theatrics and Poise: World/Inferno Friendship Society bring the house down at Brooklyn Bazaar

Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Jack Terricloth serenading one lucky fan at Brooklyn Bazaar.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society have really only been playing New York three or four times a year as of late, which makes every one of their hometown performances a must see. Their music is complex and beautiful, their sound is raw and powerful, and they bring a level of showmanship and theatricality to the stage that no other punk band on the planet does.

For their last hometown performance before their annual Hallowmas, Mr. Terricloth and his cohort invited Philly ska/punks Teenage Halloween up to the Big Apple to open the evening in Brooklyn Bazaar’s ballroom. They played well and announced that they would be dropping a new record soon on Philadelphia-based Fistolo Records.

Next on the bill was Slackers frontman Vic Ruggiero, who may just be the single most New York human being on the planet (under the age of 60 at least). Vic’s solo sets are like watching New York blues history unfold right before your eyes, and it’s really a thing of beauty. He’s an engaging storyteller, a tremendous guitarist, and a genuine guy.

Vic Ruggiero of The Slackers doing his solo thing.

It’s hard to fill up a stage like Brooklyn Bazaar’s as a solo act, but Vic actually made the room feel full with his electric guitar, a kick drum, a tambourine, and his chest-mounted harmonica. He played his solo stuff, took requests, and even workshopped a new song entitled “Garlic is the Sun” for his hometown crowd. Not all the requests were honored, however, as Vic pointed out to one fan that “if you wanna hear dat one, you’ll need to come to a Slackers show” in his droll New York accent.

As great as Vic was, the crowd was there for one reason and one reason only: to fuck shit up with World/Inferno. The room went bonkers with the first notes of “Tattoos Fade,” and Mr. Terricloth raised a full bottle of Coppola wine to toast the WIFS faithful. The crowd roared along to every lyric of World/Inferno’s opening score, and the ever friendly World/Inferno moshpit sprang into existence. There are punks to help you up in every pit, but something about the WIFS pit is just far more inviting than any other band’s.

Mr. Terricloth raising a toast to his World/Inferno faithful.

In a pre-show interview, Mr. Terricloth had said that Saturday night’s show would be “off the hook,” and he delivered on his word with a big-time performance. The group, which sometimes swells to more than thirteen members, was a lean eight-piece in Greenpoint, but they still packed a mighty punch when performing hits off of Red Eyed Soul like “The Velocity of Love,” “Your Younger Man,” and “Let’s Steal Everything,” among a slew of others.

They went through damn near half their catalogue in a performance that ran nearly two hours, and they did it all with panache. When they left the stage for their admittedly planned encore, the giant who was standing next to me in a denim vest (complete with Choking Victim patch on the back left and Grateful Dead patch on the front right pocket) lept onto the stage and led the crowd in a rousing chant of “tonight we’re gonna fuck shit up” until the band came back.

Ms. Malak

The encore opened with “Politics of Passing Out,” which required Mr. Terricloth to play a little acoustic guitar — in this case, one that he acquired from his old friend Sly Stone back when he was Sly’s driver — and closed with a tune I just don’t know the name of that was selected by WIFS bass player Ms. Malak.

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Brooklyn Folks Come Out in Force to Say Goodbye to Erik Petersen

The same thing that makes a memorial show for Erik Petersen in Brooklyn more intimate and beautiful than one for someone like David Bowie or Lemmy also makes it far more heartbreaking. Far be it from me to say that all those who went out to dance for the Star Man or have a Jack and Coke for Lemmy were not experiencing a personal tragedy. But most of those people never shared a moment, a conversation, or a drink with their hero.

When it came to Mischief Brew’s poetic front-man, it seemed like every punk who showed up to pay tribute to him on Sunday night had had a more personal encounter with the folk punk icon.

“I absolutely hate the reason we are all here tonight” said Brook Pridemore, the evening’s third performer just before he began his set. Then after he’d broken just about half the strings on his guitar he told a story about a time he had spent at Erik and Denise Petersen’s home in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania when he saw Erik squeeze the poop out of one of the more seasoned of the Petersen’s beloved pugs. He followed that story with a singalong rendition of “Old Tyme Mem’ry.”

Christy Road seemed to be working hard to hold it together during her set at the Erik Petersen tribute show.

Before Pridemore, Early Riser, Cristy Road, and two members of Teenage Halloween had performed short somewhat somber solo acoustic sets. During this time the crowd was rather small and subdued, and when it shouted words at the stage they were encouraging. An audience member called out “But it’s beautiful!” to Road when she pointed out a slight mistake in her rendition of Mischief Brew classic “Every Town Will Celebrate.”

At no point did the show ever feel like anything but a celebration of an inspiring man’s life, but until Pridemore, things felt a bit more like a remembrance. After he flooded the stage with his energy and anger it started to feel like a party. The crowd started forming, the mosh pit opened up, and the evening’s pent-up frustration and rage rose to the surface.

If there was one thing that Brook Pridemore had no problem doing it was showing emotion on stage.

Then Out of System Transfer took the stage, and while the Brooklynites definitely represented the more folk side of folk punk — which toward the latter part of their run Mischief Brew expressly shied away from — the people in attendance didn’t slam dance any more subtly for it. The trombone-toting four-piece played a few covers, and their lead singer waxed poetic about his and Petersen’s shared affinity for obscure folk tunes in a set that included tracks like “The Preacher and the Slave” by Joe Hill, “Pancho and Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt, and “Mary Ellen Carter” by Stan Rogers, a track Mischief Brew had released as a single. They also hit Mischief Brew’s “Lowly Carpenter” along with some Out of System Transfer originals.

By the time the folk punk collective Comrades took the stage the venue seemed so packed it was about to burst, and it wouldn’t have mattered whether it was the loud, angsty, and abrasive sounds of Comrades or another solo acoustic act getting on stage; the audience was ready to lose their minds. The melee ensued the moment Comrades struck their first note and the pushing and shoving didn’t end until after their last. Though Comrades didn’t play any Mischief Brew covers, their track “Give Me Coffee or Give Me Meth” is a clear homage to Mischief Brew’s “Gimme Coffee Or Death.”

It was during their set that the show really started to feel like the sort of shindig that Mischief Brew would have headlined. It felt as though at any second Erik might just come through the door from the merch booth or back from the bar after a glass of whisky.

But in the absence of ghosts, Israeli composer and musician Yula Beeri was no consolation prize. Her three-piece band was one of the most exciting and musically proficient acts of the evening; Yula spent most of their set on a stool and still managed to keep the crowd in a frenzy. She also split part of the set with World Inferno/Friendship Society frontman Jack Terricloth. They did two tracks together, one with Yula’s full band and the other a haunting rendition of “Friend to the Friendless.”

Jack Terricloth’s appearance really put the cap on a night that was already as beautiful as it could have been.

“It is one of life’s absurd jokes that I am playing a memorial for Mr. Petersen, rather than Mr. Petersen playing a memorial for me,” said Terricloth. “Comedy is part of the grieving process, take it from me,” he added before raising a toast to the fallen.

After the official performances wrapped up, Out of System Transfer led a rousing singalong of Mischief Brew songs — among others, “Roll Me Through the Gates of Hell” and “Thanks, Bastards” — before the stage was opened up to anyone who wished to jump up and sing a song in tribute to Erik Petersen.

Out of System Transfer leading rousing renditions of some of Mischief Brew’s biggest hits along with the crowd.

While fans of Petersen’s took their turn on the mic and the crowd sang along, the real sadness of the event started to take hold of many in attendance. Terricloth stood stoic in the back of the venue surveying the thinning group, while others sat down on the concrete floor.

As people stumbled over lyrics and pulled out cell phones for quick refreshers on tunes, we all realized that this was it. Denise Petersen watched the clumsy, loving efforts to keep things going for one more song. “It’s a beautiful shit-show,” she said, “like my life.”

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