Archive for the From the Archives (Concert Reviews) Category

Bang Bang Slang Meets Dean Ween… Goes Fishing – 09/10/10

Posted in From the Archives (Concert Reviews), Music & Pop Culture News with tags , , , on October 7, 2010 by bangbangslang


Mickey Melchiondo & BBS Hooligans off the coast of Belmar, NJ 09/10/10


It’s been nearly a month since we braved the open seas with one of our guitar heroes as Co-Captain – Mickey Melchiondo (the one and only Deaner of Ween) – and the experience is one that will hold lasting vibrations of awesomeness for the entire gang that came along on our fishing adventure.

Speaking now as founder of the site, I couldn’t have wrangled up a better group of dudes to bring out to Belmar, NJ. An overdue thanks has to be given to our buddy Yankus who put the wheels in motion, contacted Mickey, kept our asses in check, and solidified plans for the entire thing – thank you, man! After 5 hours of slaying bluefish, sea bass, and striper, shitfaced crushing of endless booze, slamming burritos with fish guts on our hands, and smoking cigs till our boxes were empty, we made it back to the shore with smiles ear to ear and a story to tell for the rest of our lives. If only we didn’t go bar hopping till last call afterwards, make friends with degenerates, and wake up on the grimey, prison floors of the Belmar Motor Lodge… we might have actually remembered the details.

Yes, going on a Brownie Troop trip with Mickey is as fucking awesome as you would imagine.


The Skylarker II Pirates of Belmar


I thought the only way we could do Mickey, Brownie Troop, Captain Steve, and Billy justice by means of commemorating the trip would be by offering up an account from an expert angler who was on board (and who is of course a devout follower of Boognish). Here’s Contessa’s official fishing report on our time spent aboard the Skylarker II:

“Fishing aboard the Skylarker II was the type of early autumn magic in which wet and salty dreams are made.  Admittedly, as the crew of 11 departed the parking lot of the unassuming Belmar Motor Lodge, I wasn’t confident in the success of the coming trip. To call our crew novice would have been an extreme understatement, as the majority of those among us had never fished before; but, what this crew lacked in experience, they made up for with unbridled enthusiasm and copious amounts of Bud Light.

While we motored north up the coast, first mate Billy dug in blade-first to a stack of Bunker flats which would make for the chum (and bait) of the evening. By the time Captain Steve found his numbers, whatever lack of confidence I had earlier was quickly trumped by the potent smell of bluefish grease in the air. The first hour of fishing was extremely consistent, offering the crew a mixed bag of 8-15 LBS bluefish, seabass, and even one keeper Striper landed by Tony of New Hope, PA.

The bite slowed down as the tide went slack; which ironically was when things started to heat up. I realized that our other new friend from New Hope had brought a spinning rod with a bag of various metal; the right tools for a methodology of slaying I happen to know a lot about. In no time at all we were all taking turns on the spin-gear; bombing casts deep into the chum-slick, literally hooking mammoth blues on every crank. Artificials ended up out-fishing the bait about 20-1. Thankfully, everybody got their chance to partake in the festivities.  All and all, it was an amazing trip in the beauty that is coastal Jerz.” -DC

I couldn’t have summed it up better if I tried. Mainly because I don’t know shit about fishing. Sidenote: No one puked or fell overboard, which was a plus.


The Skylarker II in all its Glory



Billy preparing our chum



A Warm Welcome from Contessa, Biney, & Geoff



Starfish beer


… and then we caught fire and started bagging fish left and right.



Alex stands proud with Mickey and his Bluefish



Leslie is a boss



A-Trab & Deaner sharing in the glory



Tony's Big 'Ol Striper



Jordon's turn... bloodfest



Hale with his slippery bastard




The Cash Fan



Mickey & Drew after some serious metal skipping



On the way back to shore...



The Bachelor & Mickey




"Best sleep of my life..."



Gon' get em!



Baine's MONSTER Seabass



Hey... who's that guy?



Geoff crushes some breeters


Mickey Skipping A Lure – Belmar, NJ 09/10/10

BBS will let the pictures do most of the talking on this one. But Mickey really hit the nail on the head with his credo on the Mickey’s Guide Service website: “A fishing trip is the best gift one can receive in my opinion, whether it’s for one person or a huge gathering”. In this case it was a jumbled mess of drunken best buds and the end result was one for the history books, just as we had predicted.

Do yourself a favor and book a trip with  Captain Mickey before he wises up and stops taking bastards like us on the water: HERE


Mickey's Guide Service


And OF COURSE we flew all the way  back to NYC to see Ween play Central Park the following weekend. What sort of assholes would we be if we flaked on Ween‘s final performance of the summer in one of the sickest park settings they’ve ever played? (FULL SETLIST BELOW)



Ween Plays Central Park 09/17/10



Buckingham Green

She Wanted to Leave

Bananas & Blow

Learnin’ To Live

Transdermal Celebration

Up on the Hill

Take Me Away

Don’t Get Too Close (2 My Fantasy)

Even if You Don’t

Push ‘Th Little Daisies

Sorry Charlie

Voodoo Lady

Happy Colored Marbles

Stallion Pt. 3

Ice Castles

Final Alarm

With My Own Bare Hands

Your Party

Let’s Dance – David Bowie Cover

Touch My Tooter

You Fucked Up

Stroker Ace

Waving My Dick in the Wind

Hey There Fancy Pants

Wayne’s Pet Youngin’

Goin Gets Tough from the Get Go

Johnny on the Spot

The Mollusk

Spinal Meningitis

Mister Would You Please Help My Pony?

Roses are Free



Mr. Richard Smoker

Dr. Rock



Hail Boognish


… should Bang Bang Slang grow a pair and just fly out to Colorado for Ween’s Halloween show? We just might.

Tickets available for halloWEEN in Denver: HERE

WEEN news, merch, and tour info: OFFICIAL WEBSITE


SURFER BLOOD LIVE! 03/10/10 Schubas – Chicago, IL

Posted in From the Archives (Concert Reviews) with tags , , , on July 21, 2010 by bangbangslang

Bang Bang Slang has downed all the free Heineken they could guzzle, nursed their sunburns with aloe, thrown their smokey, mud-covered duds in the washer, and has taken 48 hours to soak up the preceding musical mayhem that was Pitchfork Music Festival 2010. Before we publish our “best of” list, pics, and set reviews – we thought it would be fitting to share an ‘Archive’ post from Surfer Blood’s February stop at Chicago’s own Schubas, especially after their summery Sunday set that had thousands at Pitchfork pumping their fists in a sweaty sing-along. We need another 24-48 hours (and more advil/sleep) to bring our equilibriums back to full center, upload pictures, and find our writing voices again.

Surfer Blood have swam across the scene (and the world) like a drunken Michael Phelps in 2010, making a lasting name for themselves as indie and garage rock dignitaries with their super catchy glo-fi anthemic jams and impressive debut LP “Astro Coast” (Kanine Records). Due largely in part to their West Palm Beach roots, the boys in Surfer Blood have earned new age comparissons to the Beach Boys, which doesn’t really make sense at all, but their sound is clearly genre defying – like a scuzzball cauldron of Weezer, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr, Built to Spill, and My Morning Jacket soup.  The dancey, feel-good beach inspired vibes really only shine through on the punchy riffs and percussions of “Take it Easy”, the 90’s-alternative arena rock ballad “Swim” has hooks and a chorus that would have any rock band drooling, and songs like “Anchorage”, “Slow Jabroni”/”Fast Jabroni”, and “Harmonix” are not only crowd pleasers when shredded live, but also starkly produced studio gems that push ‘Astro Coast’ as a whole towards the “indie classic” status. BBS has definitely held a spot in the top 10 for “Astro Coast” as a challenger for best album of 2010.

Back to Surfer Blood’s March 10th SOLD OUT performance at Chicago’s very own Schubas. With a tremendously intense opening set from Turbo Fruits, the energy and hype was at full swell before the 5 dudes from Surfer Blood took the stage. I had rolled solo to Schubas, camera in one hand, Pabst in the other and thankfully Turbo Fruits had slapped some adrenaline into my otherwise beaten and used up business-man brain, which was pretty washed out for a Wednesday. One Pabst turned into five and as I sprawled out on the sidebenches, slinking between the dancing spectatators to snap photos and document snippets of awesomeness from the performance, Surfer Blood ripped through more or less the entirety of “Astro Coast” with a sprawling, epic, unreleased encore. Next thing I know I’m raising a shot glass brimming with Jack Daniels to guitarist and vocalist J.P. Pitts and the next morning I wake up with a stiff neck and a half eaten turkey sandwich next to my bed. It was a good night. (Sorry… no setlist)

Surfer Blood – Astro Coast (2010)

LISTEN: Surfer Blood – “Take it Easy”

LISTEN: Surfer Blood – “Swim”

Surfer Blood will be all over Europe for the next month or so, but if you’re lucky you can catch them at Bumbershoot Festival on 09/06 in Seattle, WA.

Bang Bang Slang had a chance to catch Surfer Blood’s Sunday performance at Pitchfork Festival from the sidestage, but not too many pics unfortunately. In the meantime, while we still gather our brain cells and finish organizing our media from the festival, here’s a video of Surfer Blood performing “Take it Easy” live from Pitchfork. Can you smell the cigs and sweat and dirty feet and summery awesomeness?

Anyone else catch the Surfer Blood set?

BBS will be right back… Big Boi, Major Lazer, Pavement, Reviews, Festival Stories, etc.


TWITTER: @surferblood

Black Lips LIVE! 04/01/10 Logan Square Auditorium – Chicago, IL

Posted in From the Archives (Concert Reviews) with tags , on July 1, 2010 by bangbangslang

After telling a big lie to my girlfriend and driving half way across Chicago to drop my father off at a hotel downtown, I somehow made it to Logan Square just in time to crack a Pabst and position myself in front of the stage. Logan Square Auditorum is a timeless shithole of a venue. The place has got a lot of charm and it also always reaks of sour beer and staleness, but tonight that attribute fit perfectly well with the sentiment of the band that was walking onto the stage, one of my all time garage pop favs – Black Lips. Black Lips were meant to play this place.

It wasn’t until the end of my time living in North Carolina that I came to realize that Atlanta’s Black Lips had a massively loyal fanbase and following and it wasn’t suprising to come to learn. Their studio albums are all brilliant in their own way in that “fuck you, we don’t care what you want, we’re just making the music we want to make” sort of way. This mentality carries over into their hooched up, scuzzball stage behavior, which they’ve become notorious for. It’s not like watching Anton Newcombe kick some dude in the teeth for heckling his band, it’s more like same-sex makeouts, catching loogies during a guitar solo, foaming beer spits, and nakedness – sometimes. I don’t think they’ve peed on anyone (or each other) in a while, but that’s the debaucherous “flower-punk” art form that the ‘Lips have helped foster and make acceptable at their live shows. Pairing their uninhibited stage personalities with their simmering doo-wop punk sound makes for a highly enjoyable, free-spirited rock experience, proving that a lot of bands who attempt to recreate the ‘Lips sound just look like pussies.

Black Lips at Logan Square Auditorium killed. The acoustics of the old ballroom bounced and jarred the sharp guitar and drums from wall to wall as a tight-knit crowd of hipsters danced and stomped in spilled beer and sweat. Highlights of the set included some of my personal favorites “Dirty Hands” and “O Katrina!” (Yeah… I’m a big fan of “Good, Bad, Not Evil”, so what!) and the classic “Hippie, Hippie Hoorah” was a crowd pleaser. Black Lips’ latest album “200 Million Thousand” saw the tracks “Drugs” and “Starting Over” hit the crowd with a sloshed embrace, with dudes and chicks pumping their fists and middle fingers up at the ceiling in a drunken sing-along.

Here’s the only thing that bothered me about the show – and don’t get me wrong, I’m a Girl Talk and Greg Gillis fan. The up and coming scenesters who are sneaking hard booze and joints into shows these days have blindingly accepted this precadence that the Girl Talk generation has set, one where they find the need to make the show about themselves and not about the talent of the band. Rushing the stage and overcrowding it with a 6th period Algebra class of teens who are getting off on their cursory closeness to musicians and how cool their bodies feel with illegal substances in them for the first time. Enough is enough already. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but thank god for security for once. Now, while I enjoy the rest of my Ensure and prune juice smoothie blend, take a look at the rest of the pics from Black Lips’ stop in Chicago last April.

Black Lips – “Good Bad Not Evil” (2007)

LITSEN: The Black Lips – “Bad Kids”

To get a taste for Black Lips in all their artistic glory madness, check out Vice Tv’s Black Lips coverage as they shockrock their way through India (below). Vice Tv’s website is seriously amazing – there’s a lot more Black Lips coverage there too (one of my other favorite spotlights of theirs is on their visit to Israel & Palestine HERE)

To smooch with the Black Lips some more and buy albums check out their WEBSITE

The Morning Benders LIVE! 04/12/10 Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL

Posted in From the Archives (Concert Reviews), Tour Information with tags , , on June 23, 2010 by bangbangslang

I had been given some passes to see The Morning Benders play a Tuesday show (worst concert night of the week) at Lincoln Hall and decided to take advantage – having only heard their first album and riding off the hype of “Big Echo” I thought it would be a good idea. Definitely don’t regret missing this one.

If the ‘Benders were a blip on your  music radar back in 2008, then you probably enjoyed a few listens of their debut album “Talking Through Tin Cans” like I did. (I think this was one of the only albums I had on my work computer for 2 months, so it got some heavy play). Touring in 2008 with the likes of Death Cab, The Kooks, and Ra Ra Riot, TMB’s developed a growing fanbase, some worldwide buzz, and even a ridiculous nod from iTunes as best Indie/Alternative album of 2008 (come on…). There’s no denying that TMB’s had written some catchy and intricately layered pop songs on ‘Tin Cans’, but let’s be serious – that first album was like a diet Shins disc that had some gorgeous moments. When the lights dimmed on Lincoln Hall that Tuesday however and the guys took the stage, I didn’t hear anything Shins-like or anything familiar for that matter. I just heard R. Kelly. Ok. Now, you’ve got my attention.

The ‘Benders swaggered out onto the stage like self-assured Indie-rock gangsters as the R&B cut blared over the house speakers, taking off immediately into a scorching and spacey version of “Promises”. They continued their set with equally psychedelic, soaring versions of ‘Big Echo’ cuts (“All Day Daylight”, “Mason Jar”, “Pleasure Sighs”) that didn’t really resemble their recorded equivalents all that much – and this is a good thing. Having spun ‘Big Echo’ countless times after the show, I have a respect and understanding of these songs that many who haven’t seen them live probably don’t. This especially rings true with their show-ending cut, “Excuses”. Are you kidding me? The Doo-wop refrain literally gave me chills, Chu’s vocal range was showcased in true form (mesmerizing and almost goldenly perfect), and the instrument looping was bananas. When the show had finally ended, I walked outside and realized, ‘Damn, these guys didn’t even play a single song off their first album.’ Here’s a hardworking band riding on an ever-growing wave of talent and earned acclaim- I can’t wait to see where they take it for the remainder of 2010.

I had a chance to catch up with Christopher Chu when The Morning Benders opened for Broken Bells at The Vic near their merch booth. I learned a few things too – sounds like the band was excited to be expanding their fanbase with a summer of tour dates booked with powerhouse acts Broken Bells and The Black Keys, but they seemed to be itching to build back the momentum that they were creating as a headliners in support of ‘Echo. To my surprise, I also learned that Lincoln Hall was one of their most memorable stops on tour this year – they’re already negotiating a 2 night stand with Lincoln Hall’s booking agent and can’t wait to get back. With a slot at Lollapalooza and a Lolla afterparty show with The Black Keys at Metro, The Morning Benders aren’t done with Chicago just yet. They’re just getting heated up.

(Click to enlarge photos)

TOUR TRACKER: Morning Benders Tour U.S. w/ Black Keys

*via Tom Breihan at

LISTEN: The Morning Benders – “Excuses”

The Morning Benders “Big Echo” is available NOW (Rough Trade)

For more news, tour info, and to purchase merchandise for The Morning Benders CLICK HERE

Gene Ween LIVE! 02/12/10 Otto’s – Dekalb, IL

Posted in From the Archives (Concert Reviews), Tour Information with tags , , on June 1, 2010 by bangbangslang

Flashback to February 12th, 2010. It had been nearly 2 years since Ween’s “La Cucaracha” tour and having missed the Gene Ween Band & Ween shows of 2009, the news of 2 Gene Ween solo acoustic concerts in Illinois couldn’t have come at a better time. The first gig for Gener in the good ol’ “Prairie State” landed him at Otto’s in Dekalb, IL – an inviting 90’s era moose lodge whose mix of ticketholders usually consist of obliterated NIU students or weathered, shitfaced townies. At this point, winter temperatures were continuing to plummet, the only sunlight that I’d really see during the day was from the window of my office, seasonal anxiety disorder was at an all-time high – the hour or so trek out to Dekalb played into this dismal theme seamlessly with temperatures near zero and a flat, endless black abyss sucking me forward as I cruised solo towards the venue. However, stepping through Otto’s doors and into the main stage, I was greeted with a welcoming warmth. This was going to be a special night.

To my surprise, the show hadn’t come close to selling out. Gener’s concert the following night at Lincoln Hall in Chicago had been sold out for months, but here just 70 miles out we were looking at about maybe half capacity, 200 people max. I grabbed a Pabst and lugged my camera over to a nook near stage right and waited. 10 feet away on stage was a simple barstool, a bottle of Perrier, and a songbook on a music stand. Minutes later, a silver-haired and seemingly healthier looking Aaron Freeman emerged from a smokey, dank smelling backstage door, waddling over to the stool in low-cut white socks and a stoney grin. And with a simple wave he took off on a nearly 2 hour acoustic set that spanned the entire Ween catalog from classic stand-by’s “Baby Bitch” & “Ocean Man” to less heard browntown cuts from the vault  “I Don’t Wanna Leave You on the Farm” & “Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)”. Arguably, the highlight of the night was a full a-capella “Freedom of ’76”, nailing the falsetto vocal climax grinning from ear to ear. Gener wasn’t trying to blow any minds or impress anyone (he even referred to the songbook on stage as a memory aid to keep him on point, “Too many drugs, man. Can’t remember shit”), but it was clear that everyone couldn’t believe that they were getting such an intimate and private show from Gener himself in the dead of winter. No one wanted it to end.

(Click to enlarge photos)


Gener and Deaner are hitting the road this summer with a handful of dates,  headlining festivals like Bonnaroo & Camp Bisco and bringing the BROWN to your town if you’re lucky. For a complete listing of tour dates, which culminate at a Central Park NYC gig to close the summer down, SEE BELOW…