10 best local recordings of 2020!

Ok so we’re a little late this year. We’ve had a lot on our mind since, in case you hadn’t noticed, a lot’s been going on in the world besides local music. And while local music is always important and will always be OUR lifeblood, when the world shuts down and refuses to allow live music performances to take place… we get a bit depressed and unmotivated :(.

Luckily, the lack of live performances allowed many local groups to focus on recording and releasing new material! In this spirit, instead of doing our usual ‘worst local band of’, we decided to do a ‘worst local recording of 2020’! And there were so many to choose from… a list of all the great local recordings that made the list but not the top ten is available at the bottom! We recommend listening to not only the top 10 but every single one listed!!! There is so much great local music that’s released every year that we all miss just because we don’t hear about it, and we’re just trying to do our part to remedy that! Thanks for reading! Here’s the top 10:

10. Madeline Darby – Innovation

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Madeline Darby has been an integral part of the local scene and especially the Superdark collective for years now. As a member of Dominated Swine and Thinner Friends in addition to her solo releases, her contribution to the electronic noise music in the capital district local scene is enormous to say the least. And on her most recent release, Innovation, her mastery of the independent experimental electronic and darkwave genres are on full display. A very personal album full of vocals, despite the frequent use of monotone/rap, it’s evocative of the very individual intellectual and psychological struggles that Madeline Darby and the rest of us face on a daily basis. With Shane Michael/100 Psychic Dreams contributing mixing and Paul Coleman mastering, Madeline’s collaborative spirit and choice of the best of the best in the local scene’s recording industry is beyond reproach. But the wealth of knowledge of electronic recordings and forays into the tiniest corners of the extensive wealth of electronic genres is fully displayed by all the intriguing tracks contained in this twenty minute ep — you have to hear it to appreciate just how much space it covers!

9. Scum Couch – Righteous Climb

We at Times Boredom have been huge fans of Scum Couch for awhile now (even editorially suggesting they be the best of last year). But we may be biased, since the kind of avant-garde experimental rocking noise music Mark O’Brien deals in is pretty much our favorite post subgenre. And this short collection of loud wailing noise rock is just magnifique! Calling to mind the noisey experimentation of a thousand barely heard touring artists (we think of our old but sadly defunct friends Ape Not Kill Ape), but also relating to post and noise rock heroes like Silver Daggers, Oxbow, and Health, this ep is a gateway drug to all things further left field than most likely anything you’ll ever hear on the radio (other than perhaps the Superdark Radio Show!). And it melds so many genres and advances in the genre’s influences so seamlessly it sounds as though O’Brien isn’t just pioneering but invented them all! Well done, as always!

8. Keith Sonin & John Olander – Invalid Labor

This is what happens when you don’t respond to the surveys people!

So if that last entry was a little too noisey or far left of the dial for you, there’s no way you’re going to be able to stomach to this release from two members of Albany’s long running noise rock collective Che Guevara T-Shirt. Apparently both have been digging into far more noise over signal and random chance experimental recordings, though the sides of the coin that are on display here from the two sound artists are certainly very distinct from each other.

Olander’s side of the record is 5 songs of nothing but straight kazoo solos.

Sonin, on the other hand, appears to be utilizing feedback from various contact mics on acoustic instruments in the foreground and layers of amplifiers mic’d and feeding back into each other as background. Both lack obvious rhythm (though both are clearly rhythmic in their own unusually defined ways), traditional instrumentation, or vocals of any kind. Mixing and mastering by omnipresent behind the scenes star Paul Coleman and (on the Olander tracks) Carl Blackwood of local band Bendt lend these recordings balance and presence, but take away nothing of the intentional grit. Dark, foreboding seemingly random soundscapes lie in wait on this record to entertain, creep you out, and intriguingly describe a period in the lives of their creators.

7. Thinner Friends

The Superdark collective supergroup Thinner Friends is made up of Madeline Darby (Madeline Darby), Gary Ziroli (Mr. Cancelled), and Shane Sanchez (100 Psychic Dreams, Blood Blood Blood, Eternal Crimes, etc.). Dealing in energetic electronic postpunk, the group gained immediate attention and local love upon forming and playing their first show. Since then they’ve created a cadre of songs for this debut ep of fun, danceable tunes melding too many hip genres to list. If you’re familiar with other groups these three allstars have been involved in, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear their separate talents merged into one group that so naturally complements and completes both songs and instrumentation it sounds like they’ve always been together. Three to the third power of great tastes that taste great together!

6. Various Artists – 518 Covid19 Quarantine Comp

A lot of different independent original music elements were brought together for this compilation, from groups associated with the Superdark collective in Saratoga and Troy, to Glens Falls No More Death Stars, eastern Massachusetts stars Leap the Dips, Albany allstars Gay Tastee Ex Machina, all the way down to groups that started in Albany and made their way to NYC and Ohio Never out of the Woods! There have been plenty of similar compilations over the years (like say from NYC to Albany, the screed comps, countless punk rock split 7 inches), but this one was formed out of the need for community resulting from the atomization and forced solitude of the pandemic. Compiler Keith Sonin (of local goatherders Che Guevara T-Shirt) worked with superpower duo the Colemans to solicit, bring together, and sequence songs made from the horror and loneliness brought on by the pandemic starting in Albany and spreading as far and wide as needed to convey the pluralistic reactions to the stay at home orders. ‘Intimidating’ near straight noise experimenters like Derpetuity, Arbitrary Labor, and dblgoer stand side by side with the somber yacht rock of the K.O.N.N. and Sava_D and the the lo-fi downbeat Stooges like tracks of Rey Cormac. Most of the artists are either locally famous or the pen names of locally famous group members and one off collaborators. But it’s all motivated by the same spirit of trying to make original independent songs to get ourselves and our friends through this time, and have something to remember it by.

5. Lone Phone Booth – RE/SOUND

We’ve been raving about Lone Phone Booth since we first saw them in a dank basement, and haven’t stopped screaming about how great their sophomore effort RE/Sound is since we first heard it (read more at here)! Such a tour de force of not only experimental found sound collages but classic indie rock melodies and guitar lines; we genuinely fear that Lone Phone Booth will relocate some day and leave our love behind. Because clearly they have the talent and the ability; even the recording of every last noise put into this record is crisp and clear when appropriate, fuzzy and lethargic when that’s called for. Clearly we’re not alone, as more and more fans are picking up on how terrific the efforts of Grace Annunziato keep getting better and better. We like to think that we here at Times Boredom enlightened at least a few cool kids to the great sounds of LPB; if we achieved even that, it has not all been in vain!

4. Haunted Cat – Third Degree Moonburns

Albany underground legend Drew Benton (Complicated Shirt, TOUGH, Sesame Plexer) just seems to be getting better with every new group he puts together, every new album he makes. The undeniably epic ‘3rd Degree Moonburns’ proves that not only does Benton still have the chops to blow us away with his talent, but that his songwriting skills are not only still great but further developing with every new year. Influences like Magazine, Television, and Richard Hell still figure prominently in the sound, along with the glam of Bowie and Mick Ronson and T. Rex. The sharp, caustic wit that’s been evident throughout his career is here tempered with the wisdom of being able to view it from outside; the noisey punk screeches matured into a melange of sounds that come from everywhere; guitars, drums and bass, but now also horns, piano, and all kinds of Pet Sounds type instruments one would be hard pressed to identify individually. There are even ballads so beautiful and sombre they rival those of Tom Waits (we can’t wait until Rod Stewart covers a Haunted Cat song!). The history of popular music is being examined here, from Walls of Sound to glam-sludge and everywhere in between. Steeped in music theory and a talent for pop songwriting that is unrivaled in the local scene, Haunted Cat reaches (forgive us for the cliched terminology but it really does apply here) EPIC heights with this record. A FUCKING CLASSIC.

3. Steve Hammond – Small Songs

Those that know Steve Hammond know that he’s no stranger to unusually high productivity, but on his 2020 release he breaks pretty much every record we can think of. An album with over ninety minutes of music that keeps it interesting with the ‘small song’ format, no song is longer than 3 minutes, most are under two, and the ‘smallest’ comes in at 19 seconds! In addition to having 53 songs (fifty-fucking-three!!), the number of genres included in this small masterpiece exceeds even the number of songs. From the shoegaze of ‘Escaping Hell’, the post-hardcore of ‘cat skin suit’ and ‘dog rape whistle’, to genres times boredom doesn’t usually hear like southwestern instrumentals (guitararra), bossa nova (georgie bean), and even good old fashioned soul with ‘Wasting Away’. And we thought k. Sonin who was eclipsed by Asa Morris were productive! With about 40 albums featuring Steve’s love of all music willing to go anywhere style available on bandcamp alone, Hammond is a genre-bending songaholic never stopping always entertaining steel driving music man!

2. Sky Furrows

If you’ve read anything about Sky Furrows on Times Boredom before, you know we never run out of good things to say about them. We’ve been gushing about how terrific they are since they first time we saw them and were entranced by their early SST spoken word post-hardcore sound (we’re all big SST fans from back in the day, and although they combine influences from plenty of other hip underground genres that’s the one we love and celebrate most). And finally, we got to hear their recorded output in 2020 with their self titled new record. Best of all, we got a copy of the vinyl (read Ipolit’s review here)! The timing couldn’t have been better since we’ve been missing their fantastic live shows with all the famous and talented long and short term scenesters on and off stage, so the fact that their record came out mollified us no end being able to listen to it over and over again when we were missing them. Truly the Capital District has been blessed with the unique spoken word poetry of Karen Schoemer (herself an actual music journalist unlike any of us amateurs whatwhithin our nonsensin grammar and rocknroll vocab), the combination of Burnt Hills legends Eric Hardiman, Mike Griffin, and Phil Donnelly (all of whom are in plenty of other fascinatingly creative psychedelic tinged groups like Century Plants, Rambutan, Parashi, etc.), all coming together to give some of their best to truly one of the best albums to come out of the Capital District ever!

1. Architrave – This Perfect Day

It’s no secret that there’s mutual love between local scene arms the Super Dark Collective, Times Boredom, and super talented power couple Jennifer and Paul Maher-Coleman (read TB’s interview here) and the many musical projects they spearhead and contribute to, but Architrave’s pandemic release proved once more why this specific group of theirs is as popular and worshipped as they are. Almost timeless in its influences and sounds, the record could be from the late seventies, the synth drenched mid eighties, or the Brooklyn hipster synth-pop renaissance of the early turn of the century. But unlike any nostalgic rehash, Architrave’s songs are purely original compositions based on a love of all their influences and an undeniably innovative resulting output. And of course this ain’t no synth-pop record; there’s a dark mystique and spirituality to this and all Maher-Coleman penned tunes that reveal a depth that, while undeniably catchy, comes from a well of human spirit that’s lived, loved, suffered, and come to terms with the meaningless complexity of life’s many unexpected twists and turns in a way that comes out as nothing short of great wisdom. And that’s not something you usually (if ever) hear in recorded rock, pop, and electronic music. Dark or cold wave would be an insulting term to apply to the brilliant tunes of ‘This Perfect Day’, given how superficial and naive so much of those genres turn out to be. This album represents a definitive maturity of sound crafted by a lifetime of electronic know-how and mastery of evocative melody to convey the personalities of its wise creators. This Perfect Day is not only a perfect record for the pandemic, but we keep spinning it well into the post-pandemic period, appreciating more of its complexity, integrity, and unerring honesty with every new listen. Everything that Jen and Paul Coleman are involved in is made better by their presence, but when their greatness is distilled to its essence in Architrave, something amazing and timeless has been released into a world made much better as a result of the beautiful and new colors it adds.

Honorable mentions (maybe in a particular order, maybe just randomly…): Dominated Swine – Songs of the Dominated Swine, Fine Grain – Cold Dead Eyes, Mount Mole – Flee Marker, Maggot Brain – Illumine, Ferriday – Everywhere you go, 100 Psychic dreams – variously releases, Apostrophe Beats – various releases, Brent Gorton – Quiet Time, Coupons – Up and Up, Aldebaran – Blue Lands, Bridge of Flowers – BIll + Ed, Laveda – What happens after?, Burnt Hills – Slip through time, Eraserheadz – Tales Not to Sleep, Various – Timmy Wiggins Come Home Soon Volume 1, Various – 2 dead hummingbirds presents, Machine REvival – Pulse Decay Time, Matthe D. Gantt – Diagnostics, Joe Taurone – Just Joe Vol. 1, The King of Nothing Nowhere – Her words my mouth, Rhakim Ali – Less is More, John Powhida International Airport – Single Feeling Randy, Pete Donnelly – Woke Bastard, Swamp Baby – Water Gods, Mike Hotter – Room to Land, Gay Tastee Ex Machina – Shook, Normanskillers – s/t

Don’t like our pics? Get involved in the survey for next year! E-mail timesboredom@gmail.com to let us know about your interest! Or better yet, send us an editorial all about your favorite band and why they should’ve won. If it’s grammatically correct, poignant, or funny enough we’ll publish it!

Interview with Grace Annunziato of Lone Phone Booth

Ipolito, our resident biggest fan of local experimental indie noise project/”gay uncle core” performers Lone Phone Booth (though the rest of us are fans too!) sat down (on the internet) with Grace Annunziato of the group recently to talk about how the pandemic is affecting music, what their writing and recording process is like, and random stuff about, um, corn. Here’s what they came up with.

Ipolito Terentjia (IT): So how are you enjoying the pandemic so far?

Grace Annunziato (GA): ha; i talked a lot before the pandemic about how i wished everything would stop, or at least slow down; i have learned to be more careful what i wish for,there have been some great aspects that have come with it like introspection, focus on my meditation practices, and connecting more deeply with the earth and with my priorities. obviously none of that is worth the toll it has taken! my plans have been shaken up and i forget how to be around people. but i am lucky to have gotten through it relatively unscathed. & it has definitely changed my creative process lots.

IT: Have you been making more music as a result or has it prevented that?

GA: DEFINITELY less music. for months at the beginning it just seemed so silly to write a little song with a pandemic and civil rights movement in full swing. now it’s just harder to get the motivation, but i’ve been finding ways around that. i also love writing about places and experiences which are hard to come by in a pandemic.

IT: I know what you mean. I think a lot of local musicians are feeling that way. Do you live in the capital district?

GA: i do! i live in albany.

IT: How long have you lived here? I think I read something about one of your recordings being at St Rose. Did you go to school there?

GA: i moved here for college in 2016. yeah, i went to saint rose! I graduated May 2020. meaning i finished school virtually. i had planned some long form travel after graduation but wound up sticking around, which has been a blessing in disguise.

IT: Did you study music there?

GA: I studied music industry, so a combination of music tech, business, and performance. i mostly focused on the tech side. i love engineering and production work.

IT: I guess that means you learned a lot about recording. Can you tell us about your recording process and methods?

GA: i usually start with guitar parts, at least i have in the past. once i have the guitar and vocals down i’ll add other instruments. after that is the really fun part, adding samples and field recordings, synths, effects, etc. that part probably takes the most time.

lately though, i’ve been switching it up a little. usually now I’ll start with a sample or field recording and build on that sound; i try to make it the focal point rather than the background. Then I’ll layer guitar, vocals, keys, whatever, on top of that.

i have a little portable stereo recorder i’ve been bringing on hikes. that has been the basis for a lot of music recently. then i just add sounds that feel like they fit the time and place i recorded.

IT: Do you record at home or in a studio?

GA: both! the studio when i was at st rose, now just at home. i’d love to get back in the studio when i have something ready that could use a hi-fi recording.

RE/SOUND needed that clean studio sound! but for more ambient stuff like i’ve been into lately i honestly love the lofi sound of recording at home on my busy street.

IT: Switching to the business side since you said you also studied that, I assume you’ve been self releasing recordings thus far. Have you spoken with or been approached by any local or big record labels? Or do you always see yourself doing things the DIY way and releasing and promoting independently?

GA: i’ve worked with the angels at bee side cassettes and talked with five kill a bit too. i’ve never been approached by a bigger label, but i have been ignored by a few! hahah.

despite having studied it, the business side of things has always made me feel icky. promotion is not my thing. i would rather self release and have only a few people hear it than have a huge release that feels inauthentic.

IT: The ‘who are your major influences’ question is a tired old cliche that signals a lack of imagination on the part of the interviewer. Who are you major influences?

GA: Mirah has affected me since I was a kid. Frankie Cosmos and Girlpool and a lot of straight white emo bands helped me get started. William Basinski and other minimalist composers like Philip Glass, Emily Sprague. The trees that live on my street. And how the light moves around my apartment throughout the day!

Anyone who can combine noise and music, too- Ylayali, spirit of the beehive, the books, etc

IT: That’s a lot of stuff I’ve never heard of. I’ll have to do some background research and put the record buying on Times Boredom’s dime!

GA: sounds like a great plan!!!

IT: What genre, if any, would you say your music could be classified as?

GA: gay

for real, i don’t know how to answer that! somewhere in the alternative umbrella. for now i’ll go with gay uncle core.

IT: A lot of people are saying that indie rock, like rock music in general, has become stale and unexciting. So if you could save Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee, or the band Real Estate, who would you let drown first and why?

GA: bye bye, real estate!
i’ve covered waxahatchee and courtney barnett is the primordial ooze that my hairstyle was birthed from.

IT: So I’d like to ask you about live performances before I forget. Where have you played in the Capital District? Anywhere you’d like to play? Have you ever toured and/or are you planning to?

GA: i’ve played basements and living rooms all across the capital district! and i have done a small tour in the northeast US. next year i am moving into a van so i will sort of be touring all the time. i’d love to play in the southwest US just because it’s where i’d love to explore.

i would be ecstatic to play in any sweaty basement with my friends in it

IT: So several of the other writers here at Times Boredom wanted me to tell you how much they love your music and especially your latest album ‘RE/SOUND’. It plays around TB HQ pretty much non-stop. What we all most want to know most is, do you plan to stick around the Capital District? Can we hope to hear more from you and see live performances in the near and/or not to distant future?

GA: wow, i really appreciate that! seriously, it means a lot!! and it honestly depends on how COVID goes. i’ve been wanting to travel for a while. I hope to leave albany in the fall as long as everyone who wants a vaccine has one by then. hopefully i’ll be able to play a few shows in albany before that happens! but it seems so uncertain how the transition back into live music will go.

IT: We absolutely look forward to that and hope you’ll keep us in the loop! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us tonight Is there anything you’d like to add before we conclude? Maybe another local music artist you’d like to give a shout out to?

GA: number one is an email newsletter i recently started! https://lonephonebooth.substack.com/ .

number two! my partner alex AKA soo do koo. one of the most inspiring artists i know, & in the midst of releasing a series of video collabs with local legend Derick Noetzel.

thanks for reaching out, and for chatting! much appreciated. can i ask you an interview question before we go?

IT: Sure thing. ask away

GA: what is your favorite vegetable and why???

IT: Hm. A fair question. Although technically corn breaks all the rules, one of things it is is a vegetable. So I’m gonna have to pick corn, since it was such a major achievement of the pre-Colombian American peoples. It’s basically the most scientifically advanced form of nutrition that can grow anywhere under almost any conditions

I fully believe that the import of corn from the Americas allowed all civilizations, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, to flourish in a way that allowed them to reflect much more on intellectual pursuits because it feeds so many so efficiently

While it may not be the healthiest kind of food, the technology, knowledge of farming, cultivation, hybridization, and the sheer audacity of taking something that grew only in very specific conditions in the wild yet was modified to make it spread across the entire planet mirrors humankind’s own journey into being the superdominant species on earth, for better or worse.

GA: that was beautiful. never have i thought so deeply into corn’s cultural impact; thank you.

IT: Oh, before I forget, Scott wanted me to specifically ask: “GOATS!!! GOATS GOATS GOATS GOATS GOATS!! THEY WILL TAKE OVER SOON, JUST LOOK IN THEIR EYES! FEAR THE GOOOAAATTTSSS!!!!”

GA: well said, Scott.

IT: Thanks again and I hope we have an excuse to speak again soon! Please keep making great music! We really love it!

GA: hahah they’re both good points & thank you so much! i really do appreciate all the kindness you all have shown me.

No one is making a big enough deal about Lone Phone Booth

So we decided we should.

Because they’re fucking awesome.

Led by a mysterious person known only as ‘Grace Annunziato’, here in Albany we’ve discovered a group that is like our own cross between Tara Jane O’Neill, Picastro, Cat Power, and a bunch of other quiet unassuming post rock or sadcore (we’re not sure what genre this is and we don’t give a fuck) but completely personal and original all the same

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And it’s by far the best thing we’ve discovered on bandcamp in a long time.  We say discovered because, even though we’re the most well known and well informed media outlet in the Capital District, we haven’t been sent press releases, IYCMI e-mails, or invitations to collaborate (whatever those are).

Despite their many likes on Facebook and their spate of low key shows in and around the capital district for the past couple of years, we haven’t seen the glowing reviews and press coverage we’d expect of a group this unusually good, original, and so sincere it’s almost painful.lpbac

So we’re going to do what we were created to do and spread the good word.  Buy a copy of Lone Phone Booth’s music for the faint of heart, wait until it’s raining, then light a candle and experience a sorrowful and masterful journey into the quiet, unassuming, yet brilliant light of this singer songwriter and their backing musicians.

Our buy suggestion of the week: Laveda

We only make strong buy recommendations when we feel confident enough to sink a large proportion of our own vast reserves into a group, production company, etc. Which is why we’ve suggested shares in Super Dark, Candy Ambulance, Architrave, etc. And, though this may not have been obvious, we advised you to short sell groups that made the top of our ‘best of the worst’ local bands list (i.e. top 2 bands from 2018 Hill Haints & Che Guevara T-Shirt, the whereabouts of both being completely unknown at this point and stocks having been unlisted).

Well this week we have our strongest buy rating yet on local Albany group Laveda. These sexy, skinny kids make a retro dreampop product so authentic we’re surprised it didn’t come from across the pond, produced by Kevin Shields himself. Furthermore, we’ve been assured by multiple sources that the retro-shoegaze movement in Williamsburg is still going strong and didn’t end with A Place to Bury Strangers all those years ago.

Since we’ve never steered you wrong before, we suggest you take our advice and buy a healthy chunk of Laveda (LVD NASDAQ).

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Just look at these photos, these kids could be 90’s Calvin Klein models! More importantly, go listen to their new album What Happens Next. You won’t be dissappointed.

10 Worst Local Bands of 2019!

Despite our negativity and cynicism, we must admit that 2019 was a banner year for original innovative music in the Capital District! So many great groups came to our attention, so many collaborations, so many disparate organizations (record labels, promoters, venues) working tirelessly to bring us all the good stuff we’ve come to find out about over the past couple of years as more and more original groups come to the forefront and receive the attention they deserve! So it’s no surprise then that our survey this year was extremely diverse; out of nearly 300 votes, over 120 groups were voted for! Which means only those that received the most votes from the most people got in. So if your band isn’t included, rest assured it’s likely that you were either mentioned or nearly made it. An insane list of everyone voted for is mentioned at the bottom for exploitative purposes. However, only a few lucky groups can be the best of the worst, so if you’re mentioned below, lots of people have seen and enjoyed your performances and/or records in 2019!

All links are to bandcamp sites because bandcamp is FUCKING AWESOME as far as we know; the Spotify of independent music with no ads ever. If you haven’t been there, visit every single one of these bands’ (and any other local band you like’s probably there) pages today! Oh how I wish we could be sponsored by Bandcamp.com

10. The Abyssmals

abyMaking their first appearance here on Times Boredom, we’ve long been fans of this campy 60s era sounding hip retro-rock and roll quintet from Schenectady. I mean, they’ve been making music and performing only since the 2010’s (far as we know), but if you heard them without knowing anything about them you’d be certain they were a hip underground L.A. garage band or British Invasion rockers from the 1960s. And given their traditional rock and roll vibes, surf guitar, and highly stylized vocals covered in reverb and delay, it’s obvious that’s the sound they’re going for. Husband and wife team Jarpon and Muffy Reyes makeup the most visible and essential part of this band, with all band members other than Muffy decked out in black leather and sunglasses. Muffy is a master of costumes and performance flair, almost in stark contrast to the cooler than cool stances of the rest of this rockin band.

9. Sky Furrows

sfThey’ve done it again. An incredibly innovative group that sounds pretty much like no other and has yet to play much outside of Saratoga Springs has made the top ten list of original local bands. This old school indie rock (think Pell Mell meets Minutemen… if you know who either of them are or SHIT ABOUT SHIT!) band is fronted by the Capital Region’s very own punk rock poetess Karen Schoemer. No melodies interfere with this frontwoman’s evocative sing-speak style that reminds one of Patti Smith and Kim Gordon, but whose poetry is far better and more interesting than either one (in our humble opinion). Off the cuff tales of all male bands debating the first woman to “force her way into SST records” are mixed into a stream of consciousness of magical descriptions of everyday mundane appearances with what appear to perhaps be the inner intruding thoughts of Schoemer. Unfortunately, there’s nothing funny about this band, hence we haven’t written an article yet despite our admiration. They’re just overwhelmingly impressive and original, increasingly making their mark in Saratoga Springs and hopefully soon venturing much further beyond…

8. Eternal Crimes

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Eternal Crimes has been a non-stop post-punk machine in Troy and around the Capital District for nearly a decade. In addition to most importantly reinventing themselves by changing their microgenre nomenclature, EC (as those in the know don’t ever call them) has been spreading their dark, bloody wings across the northeast and beyond over the past year to promote their new album Cryptically Acclaimed. And for those of you that have seen them live but never heard them on record, you must hear this album! Whereas live only some of their influences come through (because they’re always so fucking LOUD which to us = awesome but not everyone), this excellent new recording by bass player John Gill clarifies their sound and you can hear their genuine post-punk influences such as Suicide, Joy Division, the Misfits, Wire… just about any group that fits said overlooked, cryptically acclaimed genre. Eternal Crimes gets better every year they’re together, and there’s reason to believe 2019 is just the beginning!

7. William Hale

facebook_1580413410895So the name ‘William Hale’ is one of those confusing indie-rock type names that can refer to several things. For the most part, William Hale hails from Glens Falls (an increasingly important town in the Capital District scene giving us the Mess, No More Death Stars, Pencildive, etc), and is the nom de guerre of Lucas William Hale VanScoy (of the ‘Ravacon collective’) and his backing band. Many members of his band are regular fixtures in not only his but other popular Glens Falls groups (just like all the other groups we mentioned that keep trading players and driving us nuts keeping track!). Specifically notable players are upright bass player Jade Macduff and the omnipresent scenester Alicia Macier, who plays the unusual instruments of rock violin and sometimes even the accordion all over the Glens Falls scene. William and his crew of misfits have also done several shows as ‘William Hate’, a dark and violent character that syncs up well with his more recent, grittier look. He and his crew have also gone under other names, like the Ravacon collective and, um… to be honest we can’t quite sort it out — Lucas, if someone’s told you about this article and you’re not busy, send us an e-mail and we’ll do an interview to sort all this out. Our readers desperately want to understand what all these names and collectives represent!

6. Haley Moley

facebook_1580414769880Once again Ballston Spa’s Haley Moley have blanketed the Capital district in many performances and new songs that we’re told will soon be released as a new album. Their members have also been involved in several other projects, including Sinkcharmer, Che Guevara T-Shirt (huh?), and Architrave. And of course, that’s what earns you points when it comes to this survey. You gotta make yourself known, see? Get yourself out there. Join a hundred bands! Make friends with cool people! Play synthesizers and indie rock and dance and disco and darkwave and never play the same place twice! That’s how Haley Moley keeps doing it, and that’s how you can too! That and they’re incredibly talented, write really cool unique songs, and are constantly active artistically (yeah, sorry, the whole ‘learn 3 chords and go out and rock’ does not incredible bands often make). Must never be a dull moment when you’re in this band.  And as soon as there is, chances are a new song that features diverse genres and the defining in-depth, soft and dark alto vocals of lead singer Jennifer Coleman as well as often 2 or 3 other members of the band will soon emerge to challenge and bemuse you!

5. Thinner Friends

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This trio of super hip scenesters Madeline Darby, Gary Ziroli, and Shane Sanchez just recently came upon the scene. But apparently they’ve been blowing everyone away with the eclectic combination of their diverse styles brought seamlessly together. Like I said, scene points, amirite? Actually, I’m not. Truth is that the individual idiosyncratic musical appetites this trio brings together with deference not only to the Gestalt but to each other’s style and the intricate yet fluid sharing of the spotlight makes for a semblance of signal to noise ratios that given the electronic flow charts in seemingly new forms of measurements equals INTENSE ROCK AND AUDIENCE STUPEFACTION! Yeah, seriously. Go see this group if you get a chance. You will NOT be sorry. Sounds like nothing else.

4. Architrave

facebook_1580414568526A stripped down version of Haley Moley or an additive version of Sinkcharmer?  One can’t help but be reminded of those two acts considering that Architrave is composed of husband and wife superlative musical team Paul and Jen Coleman. Yup. More scene points! These kids and the super dark kids take them all, I swear. Building on the sounds that made Sinkcharmer a huge local star within a year of his bursting on the scene, Architrave continues in the less band is more electronic noise and danceable vibe of an inimitable stable of vocals with depth and mystique and electronic devices.  The setup is intimidating, the electronics on time and ultra clear, the sounds entrancing and mesmerizing… and this is just a recently inspired collaborative project from these prolific writer/performers still in development!

3. Mr. Cancelled

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Thanks solely and completely to our promotional efforts, Mr. Cancelled has surged up the chart this year 4 positions to number 3! Well that and their recently released album awesome album Every Town Has Its Dolls, constant performances, and of course association with the cool superdark scene. It’s true that everytime you see these guys (especially self described ‘old guy’ frontman Gary Ziroli), they’re playing their hearts out and having fun. Bringing a mix of pop punk, noise, and innately constructed melodies and lyrics that anyone with any taste can sing along to, Mr. Cancelled rocks the local scene like a cooked turkey on fire falling off an airplane with a soda for screaming into!

2. Blood Blood Blood

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Oddly enough, in addition to Mr. Cancelled above, Blood Blood Blood (which shares members with Mr. Cancelled) is one of the few groups to really climb up the chart from last year. Once it was revealed that they were, in fact, the Olson twins, a large amount of unwanted notoriety and popularity faced them everywhere they went. Which honestly is quite impressive for a darkwave industrial death-lectronic group. There aren’t many towns where electronic groups with horror inspired lyrics over gothic almost gloomcore synths and distorted beats are known and loved above nearly all other original local acts. Probably says something about our area. Something, dare I say… Super Dark?!!

1. White Devil and the 666

a2755740404_16Anyone who saw White Devil (aka E.S. Cormac of the Hill Haints) the first time he played solo at Pauly’s Hotel knew he was gonna turn the entire local scene upside down! And the addition of the 666 (aka Black Jack Cassidy of Moon Worship and Kevin Johnston of Sisterhood of Sleep) brought this insane blues duo from outer space (and Texas) to the pinnacle of dark and frighteningly entertaining performance art in the Capital District. And based on their increasingly confident and wild performances of down home authentic way-down-in-the-delta blues (from Albany, Schenectady and Troy, the fertile delta of authentic imitation insane bluesbilly jams), we’re guessing they’re gonna be around to level this town until it can’t take no more. Congratulations, WHITE DEVIL AND THE 666 (you’re just gonna have to imagine a bunch of reverb and that guy that says ‘SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY’s voice saying this in your head since we haven’t figured out how to embed sound files yet)!  YOU KICKED ALL OUR ASSES!!!!

 

Runners Up (all the terribly great groups that didn’t make the collective top ten but were loved enough to be part of somebody’s top ten):

Pony in the Pancake Candy Ambulance belle skinner burly Laveda Mystery Girl Steve Hammond and his rabid children Che Guevara T-Shirt Hill Haints jagaloons Madeline Darby Motorbike pencildive Scum Couch Sinkcharmer Bear Grass Chief Comrade Nixon Home Body Safety Meeting Bare Mattress Bruiser and Bicycle Brule Country Bad Boys Coal Palace Kings dark honey dirt church dryer electric turtle fine grain Geoff Gorden goat sausage Haunted Cat kid vicious Leap the Dips Mountain Carol no more death stars Onlyness prince daddy and the hyena Slaughterhouse Chorus the machine Ugly Muppets Wet Specimens a judgemental swarm of bees ampevene andrew mirabile another michael avenue a bad mothers bendt born dying buried alive burnt hills Chloroform Party chris neuman cindy cane Fat Poodle Fossergrim fringe history frozen heads Fucking Christ Galene Gay Tastee Girl Blue Girth Control Greens Horse Apples Joan Kelsey’s Silver Lining Johnny Booth Lemon of Choice Lone PhoneBooth Male Patterns Matt Griffin Band Neighborhood of make believe Nickopotomus Parashi Pink Nois Postage Project Kate Ramblers Home Rambutan Scavengers Senior Living Sisterhood of Sleep Spirt of Violence stellar young the erotics the non-compliants the sea the sea thinking Tiki Bats Tom Atkins useless cans vice grip Zan & the Winter Folk Zeffler grabass cowboys blue ranger paradisa wove ciarra fragale corry loveday drank the gold tambourelli and her supertrips Dead Tooth Hasty Page Moribund Muzzle Lords NXNES Rechorduroys

Requiem for the 2000 teens. The end?

So here it is. The end of an era. Some have called it the golden era. Others have said it was a bunch of shit. Some old asshole said this shit stank way worse than the shit that came before it, which was much less stinky than the shit that came before it, which was the stinkiest most terrible shit of all (the eighties. no wait, the seventies? how far back did we go there?).

We’ve just been notified that a lot of shit’s about to go down before the new decade begins. Bands are breaking up, clubs are closing down, shit’s being flushed. But new bands are forming, new clubs opening, old closed shitholes are rebranding themselves, hiring new booking agents, younger, weirder bartenders, with even more shockingly disgusting hair and facial accessories…

Before that happens though, we’d just like to take a moment to lament the past. There were great moments, some great music, some great shows and great friends. But there was a lot of shit too. Like your band. Face it dude, you guys sucked.

And well, of course, we must take our share of the blame. We could’ve been funnier. Like, a lot funnier. I mean, we were barely funny at all! People just came here to see their band mentioned. Then they shared it on facebook and pretended it was funny so people would read about their band. And then maybe their friend’s band. And then their collective of bands or music or shows or scenes or what the fuck ever. It was so fucking funny. We laughed so fucking hard…

But today we’re not laughing. Because the joke was on us; the real laughs people got were at our expense. Like; ‘how could this be that much less funny then Hard Times all the time? They’ve got to at least make one or two jokes that make me chuckle. And they just say weirder and stupider shit all the time, getting worse and worse! What the fuck? It’s just that bad it’s funny as fuck dude. You gotta read this shit.’

And so, as we admit to ourselves that we’re about as funny as fucking Mormons, we will finally be signing over our site to the local chapter of the Biden for President group of sites. That’s right. Joe Biden; he’s, um… he’s not so bad. Once you don’t see him or hear him speak for a while… He’s, uh, got some entertainment value…

NO! It’s not true! Donald Trump is a huge piece of shit, but he’s comedy gold! We will not let his reign end, lest we all die of boredom and contentedness and, um, everything in the world going better!! Chaos is way more fun!

And we’re gonna write some funny stories about bands you’ve really never heard of! Bands that have never played out, and never will! And you’re gonna read about them and say, what the fuck?! I’m in that band! I have to share this with my friends!

And in the 20s, we’re gonna use that anti-comedy formula to get mentioned over and over until people BELIEVE that we’re funny! It’s like all the music on the radio; it’s fucking garbage! But all the kids are listening to it, just like they always have, and somehow they’ve convinced themselves that shit is gold! And we can do it too! We just need you to believe in us! Well, not that actually. We need you to share our stories! We need the hype! We need to spread the shit all over the walls, all over the facebook, and all over the internet! And that’s how the 20s are gonna be! A con man’s paradise of cons! The one that will never end!

Phew. For a second there I thought we were actually gonna have to write about how great Biden is. Turns out we can just keep shitting where we eat, because, hell, we don’t make any money anyway. And we don’t run on views, we don’t exist based on popularity, we do and say whatever the fuck we want, and you either slurp it up or stop reading and it doesn’t make any difference at all to anyone anyway.

And you can expect us to continue not to matter in the next decade. Though our bands break up and our clubs fall down, we’ll make new bands and play sheltered under new awnings that have yet to collapse. Though our scene falls apart from infighting and people that stop fucking and start telling each other to kill themselves or brag about how much better their new lovers are, we will love again! Though people say we’re not as funny as we were and even then we always sucked, we shall suck again!

We’re looking forward to the 2020s and all the new music and noise it’ll bring. We hope you’ll join us. But if not, go fuck yourselves. Seriously. Times Boredom without end!

Under their masks, Blood Blood Blood are actually the Olsen Twins!

That’s right, you heard it here first!  The reason Troy experimental electronic noise duo Blood Blood Blood wear masks is to hide their true identities.

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“We’d already conquered tv, movies, fashion design, and perfume lines, so we wanted to move into music.”  says Ashley Kate Olsen

“Right, but we wanted to prove we could make it without just using our celebrity this time.  So we chose a really underground genre in a really unheard of place in Upstate New York to kickstart our career!” pipes in Mary Kate.  Or Michelle.  Whatever I don’t know their names.

There’s further evidence that the twins, initially made famous by 4th wall breaking meta documentary television program Full House, have been thinking about this project for some time now.  We’ve uncovered alternate titles and covers for several of their films:

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When asked if they would continue covering their true identities in their experimental noise duo, recently expanding from the Capital Region to New York City, they both emphatically stated:

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-Scott Koenig

Let me tell you about the Legend of the White Devil and the 666…

sko“Y’all don’t know shit about shit!”  screams cantankerous old local music cranky pants DJ Think Noise when asked about White Devil and the 666.  “So allow me to school your kindergarten asses.  Gather round children!”

“Legend has it that late one night, E.S. Cormac (of Hill Haints) and Black Jack Cassidy
(Sisterhood of Sleep, Moon Worship, Bone Parade) were barrelling down the Northway
blasting Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at full volume. Ed shouted to Jack; ‘we should do
something like this! You know, raw, bluesy, loose!’ and Jack shouts back ‘hell yeah.
But EVVVILLL!!!!’

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“…and smack! Some methed up driver in a Dragula’ (some say Satan hisself!  Others just say Rob Zombie) smashes into their car and A FIREBALL OF HELLFIRE AND SULFUR LIT UP THE NIIGGGHHYIII–YIIGHYT!

“Ah shit, where was I?  Got caught up in my own shtick…

“Oh yeah… the remains of E.S. and Black Jack weren’t found that night. Sometimes, when something so terrible, so evil, so rock and roll happens, dooders spirits can not cross over to hell where they belong, but they must live out eternity in hellfire inspired blues and rhythm!

“And so, E.S. and Black Jack were born again in blues and hellfire as WHITE DEVIL AND THE 666!

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“Ever since that night, they’ve been exacting their revenge on anyone that’ll listen to their musty brand of raw, loose blues and pounding noise all over the Capital Region.

“And the Facebook has it that on Thursday night, they begin the Saratoga to Albany gauntlet again! Thursday at Desperate Annie’s and Friday night at the Low Beat, which will force the Double Dealin’ Demon Duo to trod once more that Haunted Highway that gave birth to their FIRE AND FURY in the first place!

“What will happen in the meantime? Will they meet up with the mysterious methhead stranger that killed them and make a deal for their souls? Will they rock him back to HELL!!!!??? I, for one, cannot wait to find out.  So git yr asses out to these shows or goddammit, you won’t know nothin bout Legends of local BLUES AND ROCK and you still won’t know shit about shit!”

Today is Mr. Cancelled Day

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We hereby declare April 19th Mr. Cancelled day!  I don’t think it’s anything else, and we have an interview and a review of their new album!  Well yeah my boss is like ‘I am Dave!  Do vat I say!  You vill die here!’  He’s such an asshole.  Dammit Phil look what you made me write!  But seriously we’re gonna celebrate by playing their new ep ‘Every Town Has its Dolls’ all day long here on Times Boredom radio and, um, ahh read the fuckin articles if you wanna laugh.  We promise lead singer Gary’s way funnier than we are.