The Boston Phoenix cleans up the office, finds lots of CDs by Boston bands from the past 20 years that you probably forgot about.

30th November 2011

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album: Mahi Mahi He No Wareleased: 2006why I am listening to this: Well-respected Providence-based experimental electronic duo that always played the more weirder and underground dance parties. Easy to dance to if zoinked out on acid. initial thought: Doesn’t really sound dated. And yup, I still miss Ben Sisto’s Sunday night Honeypump shows at Great Scott 
fun fact: One of the first releases off RI’s Corleone Records, home to Get Killed, Fang Island, Lazy Magnet, etcccccc  they were in the Phoenix: Probably a lot, especially in Providence, but mentioned here in a 2005 preview of NEST fest. TINY HAWKS | MAHI MAHI | MADE IN MEXICO | It’s the bill  that Providence built. Tiny Hawks are Art and Gus, two prog-art  noise-rockers who drag their drums, double bass, and guitar onto the  floor — think Lightning Bolt with fewer BPMs, more melody, no scary  masks. Mahi Mahi are an electro-splash duo fond of dancy UFO soundz;  Made in Mexico are an Arab on Radar offshoot who sound like a gagged  Karen O in a no-wave tide pool. | Sept 23 | MassArt
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album: Mahi Mahi He No Wa
released: 2006
why I am listening to this: Well-respected Providence-based experimental electronic duo that always played the more weirder and underground dance parties. Easy to dance to if zoinked out on acid.
initial thought: Doesn’t really sound dated. And yup, I still miss Ben Sisto’s Sunday night Honeypump shows at Great Scott

fun fact: One of the first releases off RI’s Corleone Records, home to Get Killed, Fang Island, Lazy Magnet, etcccccc 
they were in the Phoenix: Probably a lot, especially in Providence, but mentioned here in a 2005 preview of NEST fest. TINY HAWKS | MAHI MAHI | MADE IN MEXICO | It’s the bill that Providence built. Tiny Hawks are Art and Gus, two prog-art noise-rockers who drag their drums, double bass, and guitar onto the floor — think Lightning Bolt with fewer BPMs, more melody, no scary masks. Mahi Mahi are an electro-splash duo fond of dancy UFO soundz; Made in Mexico are an Arab on Radar offshoot who sound like a gagged Karen O in a no-wave tide pool. | Sept 23 | MassArt

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30th November 2011

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album: The Beatings Italianoreleased: 2002why I am listening to this: It’s amazing to think the Beatings have been going at it for a decade now. Last night at TT’s, Carl Lavin and I were discussing a show they did at the Upstairs Lounge above the Penalty Box in North Station around the time of this record’s release. In club years that feels like a lifetime ago. initial thought: Seventeen tracks of furious power-pop. You can’t really say the Beatings have gotten better with age; they brought it right from the start. “How Many Times Can You Say Goodbye To The Same Person?” still roars.    fun fact: This was the first release off associated label Midriff Records, now based in NYC but with strong Boston ties. Midriff is home to Age Rings, Get Help, and the solo offerings from Beatings’ vocalist Eldridge Rodriguez.    they were in the Phoenix: Matt Parish wrote a rad Cellars by Starlight on them back in ‘09. 
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album: The Beatings Italiano
released: 2002
why I am listening to this: It’s amazing to think the Beatings have been going at it for a decade now. Last night at TT’s, Carl Lavin and I were discussing a show they did at the Upstairs Lounge above the Penalty Box in North Station around the time of this record’s release. In club years that feels like a lifetime ago.
initial thought: Seventeen tracks of furious power-pop. You can’t really say the Beatings have gotten better with age; they brought it right from the start. “How Many Times Can You Say Goodbye To The Same Person?” still roars.   
fun fact: This was the first release off associated label Midriff Records, now based in NYC but with strong Boston ties. Midriff is home to Age Rings, Get Help, and the solo offerings from Beatings’ vocalist Eldridge Rodriguez.   
they were in the Phoenix: Matt Parish wrote a rad Cellars by Starlight on them back in ‘09.

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29th November 2011

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album: The Stairs, On Sleep Labreleased: 2005?why I am listening to this: When this showed up in the office six years ago, nobody knew who they were, least of all us, and we were sort of pissed about it: like, how the fuck could a band this amazing have got past us for two years and a couple of albums? But then we got over ourselves and got excited and whatnot, until we figured out that the band was breaking up in, like, a week. I’m trying to find evidence of this but that was like three blog engines ago, and the photo links are broken. Sorry.initial thought:  Will Ryan get pissed if I say I still like this better than Hallelujah the Hills? fun fact: Future Phoenix correspondent Matt Parish played funeral director at the Stairs last gig.they were in the Phoenix: a bunch, but here’s the interview
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album: The Stairs, On Sleep Lab
released: 2005?
why I am listening to this: When this showed up in the office six years ago, nobody knew who they were, least of all us, and we were sort of pissed about it: like, how the fuck could a band this amazing have got past us for two years and a couple of albums? But then we got over ourselves and got excited and whatnot, until we figured out that the band was breaking up in, like, a week. I’m trying to find evidence of this but that was like three blog engines ago, and the photo links are broken. Sorry.
initial thought:  Will Ryan get pissed if I say I still like this better than Hallelujah the Hills? 
fun fact: Future Phoenix correspondent Matt Parish played funeral director at the Stairs last gig.
they were in the Phoenix: a bunch, but here’s the interview

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29th November 2011

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Album: The Anchormen, Punk Rock Is Awesome
Released: 2000
Why I Am Listening To This: Actually, I’m not listening to it. But I remember what it sounds like. Does that count?
Initial Thought: Did this record always look like a Dropkick Murphys album? 
They were in the Phoenix: 11 years ago this month. Not to be confused with. 
Fun fact: Mr. Czekaj went on to design the first and best logo for our music blog On the Download - portions of the logo still being visible if you follow us on Twitter. Mr. Braiotta went on to create Tumblr accounts for us to write about.
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Album: The Anchormen, Punk Rock Is Awesome

Released: 2000

Why I Am Listening To This: Actually, I’m not listening to it. But I remember what it sounds like. Does that count?

Initial Thought: Did this record always look like a Dropkick Murphys album? 

They were in the Phoenix: 11 years ago this month. Not to be confused with

Fun fact: Mr. Czekaj went on to design the first and best logo for our music blog On the Download - portions of the logo still being visible if you follow us on Twitter. Mr. Braiotta went on to create Tumblr accounts for us to write about.

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Tagged: AnchormenBostonMusic

29th November 2011

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album: Paparazzi three-song demo with the songs “Lawless,” “Shoot Me Up,” and “Zombie Beach Party” released: No idea, gonna guess 2006-07-ishwhy I am listening to this: Because I somehow remember this band once featured Demitri Miro Swan (Young Adults) and Holden Lewis (Pretty & Nice), and a kid I’ve seen at shows for years. Plus the artwork features a couple boanin’ standin’ up. initial thought: This would still take down a room like Great Scott. Crazy, energetic surf-ish punk, but before surf-pop shit became a wussy thing. Reunion time! fun fact: Lady Gaga named her hit song after these dudes. FACT! they were in the Phoenix: Oh yeah BAND GUIDE!  … Mainly influenced by the Cramps and Les Savy Fav, Paparazzi began writing songs with one thing in mind, partymode.
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album: Paparazzi three-song demo with the songs “Lawless,” “Shoot Me Up,” and “Zombie Beach Party”
released: No idea, gonna guess 2006-07-ish
why I am listening to this: Because I somehow remember this band once featured Demitri Miro Swan (Young Adults) and Holden Lewis (Pretty & Nice), and a kid I’ve seen at shows for years. Plus the artwork features a couple boanin’ standin’ up.
initial thought: This would still take down a room like Great Scott. Crazy, energetic surf-ish punk, but before surf-pop shit became a wussy thing. Reunion time!
fun fact: Lady Gaga named her hit song after these dudes. FACT!
they were in the Phoenix: Oh yeah BAND GUIDE! Mainly influenced by the Cramps and Les Savy Fav, Paparazzi began writing songs with one thing in mind, partymode.

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29th November 2011

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album: Crystal Understanding “Hold The Gem”  released: Sometime in 2007  why I am listening to this: I remember watching this band at one of Ben Sisto’s Sunday night jams at Great Scott. Those were the days, kids. I bought a record at every show (Big Digits, UV…)  initial thought: Doesn’t really sound as dated as I thought. Synthpop is a tricky beast.  fun fact: This record comes with a cover of Cassette’s “Premature Baby”! 1,000,000 2007 scene points!!!   they were in the Phoenix: Another Mp3 of the Week, May 2007. Carly wrote We have a general rule: hippies and sequencers don’t mix. But, as blog nerds have discovered via the already-web-famous track “World with No Windows,” Crystal Understanding’s Aaron and Sonya  have become a weird, sweet exception. The duo is aligned with the local shit-pop cabal Compound 440r,  and like most C440r groups it forsakes (sez their bio) “the usual  trappings of rockitude, replacing guitars and basses with handmade  claves, computerized beats, and power feelings.” Power feelings! 
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album: Crystal Understanding “Hold The Gem”
released: Sometime in 2007 
why I am listening to this: I remember watching this band at one of Ben Sisto’s Sunday night jams at Great Scott. Those were the days, kids. I bought a record at every show (Big Digits, UV…)
initial thought: Doesn’t really sound as dated as I thought. Synthpop is a tricky beast.
fun fact: This record comes with a cover of Cassette’s “Premature Baby”! 1,000,000 2007 scene points!!! 
they were in the Phoenix: Another Mp3 of the Week, May 2007. Carly wrote We have a general rule: hippies and sequencers don’t mix. But, as blog nerds have discovered via the already-web-famous track “World with No Windows,” Crystal Understanding’s Aaron and Sonya have become a weird, sweet exception. The duo is aligned with the local shit-pop cabal Compound 440r, and like most C440r groups it forsakes (sez their bio) “the usual trappings of rockitude, replacing guitars and basses with handmade claves, computerized beats, and power feelings.” Power feelings!

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29th November 2011

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album: Eyes Like Knives “Slow Distractions”  released: September 2004why I am listening to this:  Perhaps my favorite band name of ALL TIME, I still wear this band’s pin on my fall jacket, and overall this experienced served an early lesson to trust anything that involves Andre Obin (one-time ELK bassist who then went on to form electronica duo Matters & Dunaway and skygaze trio Endless Wave, in addition to his epic solo shit). initial thought: Still sounds like an emotional, post-hardcore bag of nickles to the face.fun fact: Uhhh, http://www.eyeslikeknives.com is now some weird Asian dining blog?!?!?!they were in the Phoenix: Will Spitz gave it 3 stars on Off The Record. He wrote: The result captures the foursome’s blend of Sonic Youth noise  implosions, propulsive minor-key riffing, and reverb-heavy,  delay-drenched ambiance. The Pixies are a clear influence as Rebekka  Takamizu plays Kim Deal to Scott Toomey’s Black Francis, quietly cooing  over Toomey’s vocals and occasionally singing lead. 
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album: Eyes Like Knives “Slow Distractions” 
released: September 2004
why I am listening to this:  Perhaps my favorite band name of ALL TIME, I still wear this band’s pin on my fall jacket, and overall this experienced served an early lesson to trust anything that involves Andre Obin (one-time ELK bassist who then went on to form electronica duo Matters & Dunaway and skygaze trio Endless Wave, in addition to his epic solo shit).
initial thought: Still sounds like an emotional, post-hardcore bag of nickles to the face.
fun fact: Uhhh, http://www.eyeslikeknives.com is now some weird Asian dining blog?!?!?!
they were in the Phoenix: Will Spitz gave it 3 stars on Off The Record. He wrote: The result captures the foursome’s blend of Sonic Youth noise implosions, propulsive minor-key riffing, and reverb-heavy, delay-drenched ambiance. The Pixies are a clear influence as Rebekka Takamizu plays Kim Deal to Scott Toomey’s Black Francis, quietly cooing over Toomey’s vocals and occasionally singing lead.

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29th November 2011

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album: Mean Creek “Around The Bend” CD-Rreleased: February 2007, sometime between Chris & Aurore and Mean Creek blowing the eff up. why I am listening to this: Because it rules, and “Hands Behind Our Heads” still holds up.  initial thought: This band is all growns up now. fun fact: When this came out, I was writing for Spin, and I called Mean Creek “country core,” kinda as a goof, after I saw them at Axis with Straylight Run. They never let me forget it. they were in the Phoenix: More Mp3 of the Week treatment, February 2007. Carly Carioli wrote: Chris Keene  and Aurore Ounjian were kicking around town as an indie-folk duo  called, in true Damon & Naomi fashion, Chris & Aurore. But  lately they’ve been fleshing out their songs with a full band, and  they’ve rechristened themselves MEAN CREEK. Their debut, Around the Bend (on Boston-based Clubhouse Records), finds them filling out Dylan-esque  roots-rock ballads with boy-girl harmonies that hark back to the heyday  of mid-’90s post-grunge pop. Yes, that’s pretty much the bass line from  the Beatles’ “Taxman” in “Hands Behind Our Heads,” and not even Dando  and Hatfield could’ve swooned more sweetly in the chorus. 
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album: Mean Creek “Around The Bend” CD-R
released: February 2007, sometime between Chris & Aurore and Mean Creek blowing the eff up.
why I am listening to this: Because it rules, and “Hands Behind Our Heads” still holds up. 
initial thought: This band is all growns up now.
fun fact: When this came out, I was writing for Spin, and I called Mean Creek “country core,” kinda as a goof, after I saw them at Axis with Straylight Run. They never let me forget it.
they were in the Phoenix: More Mp3 of the Week treatment, February 2007. Carly Carioli wrote: Chris Keene and Aurore Ounjian were kicking around town as an indie-folk duo called, in true Damon & Naomi fashion, Chris & Aurore. But lately they’ve been fleshing out their songs with a full band, and they’ve rechristened themselves MEAN CREEK. Their debut, Around the Bend (on Boston-based Clubhouse Records), finds them filling out Dylan-esque roots-rock ballads with boy-girl harmonies that hark back to the heyday of mid-’90s post-grunge pop. Yes, that’s pretty much the bass line from the Beatles’ “Taxman” in “Hands Behind Our Heads,” and not even Dando and Hatfield could’ve swooned more sweetly in the chorus.

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29th November 2011

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album: Compound 440R “Local Collections 2006”
released: Spring-ish (?), 2006 
why I am listening to this: Look at that fucking track listing!
initial thought: Look at that fucking track listing! 
fun fact: Produced by Karen Tsiakals (UV Protection), Michael Potvin (of every band ever), TD Sidell (Big Digits), Michael Carroll and David Levin. Mastered by Kasson Crooker, who was in Freezepop at the time. 
they were in the Phoenix: Eject were our Mp3 of the Week back in 2006. That’s right bitches, we were giving you free music files back in 2006.

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29th November 2011

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album: Officer May - Smoking in a Minorreleased: Ace Fu Records, 2003why I am listening to this: “Holy shit you need to listen to this fucking album!” - Carlyinitial thought: sounds kinda like 1991 the Year Punk Broke but mostly Nirvanafun fact: this is the one of the dudes from Viva Viva's old bandline-up: Chris Warren (guitars/vocals), Jared Croteau (drums), Mike Sanders (bass)they were in the Phoenix: Cellars by Starlight, May 2, 2003_LP

album: Officer May - Smoking in a Minor
released: Ace Fu Records, 2003
why I am listening to this: “Holy shit you need to listen to this fucking album!” - Carly
initial thought: sounds kinda like 1991 the Year Punk Broke but mostly Nirvana
fun fact: this is the one of the dudes from Viva Viva's old band
line-up: Chris Warren (guitars/vocals), Jared Croteau (drums), Mike Sanders (bass)
they were in the Phoenix: Cellars by Starlight, May 2, 2003

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Tagged: officer mayboston bandsviva vivaalbums that still rule