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

facebook_1580415097236(Photo by Tessia Bekelja)

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!

We thought we were making the jokes

So after learning that the ‘Albany Skyway’; a multimillion dollar project to turn a highway ramp into a ‘recreational greenway’ overlooking the beautifully toxic eleven story ‘Central Warehouse’ (that can’t even be torn down due to environmental concerns that it will poison us all) will be going forward, nothing surprises us here at Times Boredom.

cw

And then this: https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Rensselaer-to-launch-gondola-environmental-review-14503674.php

Another completely idiotic multimillion dollar transportation rehab-clownification scheme we’ve written about with unbridled derision before is said to be in the process of going forward as well.

Let’s see; $ 25 million for a ‘sky ride’ from the fucking rail station only rich politicians ride (the cost of a train ticket is more than 10 X that of a bus ticket any time of any day of the week) to an unnamed location in ‘downtown Albany’ (unnamed because, get this — it was originally to go to the fucking bus station!)gond

 

$ 3 million for the ‘greenway’ (in an area that already has multiple riverfront pedestrian bridges, sites, walkways, bikeways etc that are barely used — just head down there on a weekday from 9 to 5 when downtown isn’t empty and see who’s enjoying the millions of dollars already spent on ‘waterfront revitalization/beautification);

Albany Skyway design 2018-August_7

Together that’s $28 million.  And once a million $+ public works project begins, it usually doesn’t end until it’s at least doubled in cost.

How much does Mayor Sheehan keep saying our budget gap was?  Less than 1/5th of that.  How much do we spend on helping poor people who live in the inner cities of Albany and Rensselaer (gotta include that city too now since the gondolas start there) to make ends meet?  On environmental justice for poor people displaced by similar projects from the past?  On environmental justice for poor people breathing polluted air drinking toxic water being unable to safely cross the street as a result of other transportation projects that costed millions?  On subsidized bus fares for poor people?  On subsidized train fares for poor people that can’t currently afford to take the fancy government subsidized fancy boxcars (in case you were wondering Amtrak, like every airline, has never been profitable and has to be bailed out by your taxpayer money every fucking year) I’m guessing it’s less. Wayyyyy less.

Point is, we can’t even laugh at this anymore.  When it was proposals, it was funny.  Now that we’re spending real money on it, it’s sad.  If it gets built, tragic.  When  even Times Boredom stops laughing and starts getting all self righteous about public circus spending and exploitation of poverty stricken inner city residents, you know Albany’s in serious trouble.

Times Boredom too busy to do ‘Best of’ Issue Right Now

We’ve been messing with you for a long time now and we want to apologize. We do not have huge corporate offices in downtown Albany and a staff of hundreds. We don’t even have enough money to pay our writers. Whether or not we write or publish articles is actually dependent on how much of our actual jobs we have to do, how much Fucking Christ band practice we have to go to, emptying the cat box, etc.

Therefore we will not, as we intended and asserted to many, be able to publish our ‘best of 2018’ article just yet. But watch the site and the facebooks, cause it’s coming. We will get it to you. We swear on the vast profits that Times Boredom receives from your viewership subscriptions and ad revenue every year. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you or your loved ones.

Sincerely,

THE ENORMOUSLY WEALTHY WELL PAID STAFF AND CORPORATE OFFICE DWELLERS OF TIMES BOREDOM

Times Boredom the last local music rag standing

Yet another local music publication is closing its doors.  So long, All Over Albany…

In other news, we just heard the Low Beat is for sale too. WTF?! Local music is coming apart at the seams…

Following the shutdown of the Alt in September, that leaves only terrible little bullshit sites like our own to cover the entire local music scene in the Capital District. We are so sorry. We swear it’s not our fault.

But now that we think of it, we’re pretty much all you’ve got left now, unless you wanna read the crappy arts section of the local news publications that ‘don’t know shit about shit’! So suck it up and read our drivel! MUWAH HA HAH HA HA! WE’RE THE ONLY TASTE MAKERS NOW! WE CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR BAND! GIVE US FREE PASSES TO YOUR SHOWS! BUY US BEERS! SEND US SEXY MEN AND WOMEN! OR ELSE!

Seriously, we mourn the loss of another great local music/events source and look forward to abusing our newfound power.

Times Union Asininely Responds to Times Boredom

We recently criticized Times Union’s (you can find the article here) publishing and calling attention to yet another conservative, anti-Union, anti-state worker, anti-labor group’s biased studies and failing to at least publish any ‘liberal’ groups’ (such as NYPIRG) policy papers as well.

Here’s their tepid response:

Liz Moran joins NYPIRG

Seriously? You think we’ll be mollified that you’re reporting about a specific person joining NYPIRG instead of you actually even publishing one of their position papers, much less a ‘fair and balanced’ position paper that responds to the claims you’ve been publishing over the years that denigrates state workers’ abilities, says they get paid too much, that they’re the reason the state will go bankrupt (ok we took liberties with that last one, but we’re a real fake news organization. We’re allowed.)?

Get a clue Times Union. You suck.

Times Union once again tells its audience to go to hell

Oh Times Union, why do you continue to be the mouthpiece of terrible conservative anti-Union anti-job anti-stateworker rights organizations like the ‘Citizens Budget Commission’?

https://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/284964/citizens-budget-commission-urges-vetoes-of-costly-bills/

If we were real journalists we might actually uncover how your owners or boards of directors were on or contributed to these awful organizations, which are the ones you increasingly help to publish the biased findings of (when was the last time you showed a NYPIRG study about the costs of not covering benefits or a CSEA article noting how little the majority of state workers actually make?).  You’re very lucky we’re not, but then again you did fire all your real journalists several years ago when you got rid of your own Union.  At least change your title; the irony of the fact that Union is the second part of your name is one of the reasons we just can’t stop criticizing your bafflingly unfair assessments and attacks against those that read your biased publication.

Bottom line is; why do you hate your audience?  We’re certain a large percentage of your readers and subscribers are state workers.  Yet you continue to publish pieces that denigrate them, say they make too much money, they’re bankrupting the government, etc.

You suck.