Interview with Gary Ziroli of Mr. Cancelled

Below is our interview with Gary Ziroli in which he proves he’s funnier than we are.  Which is not fair!  He knew the interview was happening.

mr-cancelled

Times Boredom (TB): There’s no lyrics on your bandcamp page.

Gary Ziroli (Z). No. Please feel free to add some!

TB: Your bandcamp page is confusing cause it’s through super dark records. How tall are you?

Z. Average.

TB: Do you always sing lead?

Z. Yes. Go figure!

TB: A lot of people have been saying that Bernie’s really got a chance this time around. Have you ever tried to make a scone?

Z. Tried a scone as president? At this point, SURE!

TB: I wanted to call you pop punk, lo-fi, or indie rock, but your facebook site says you’re ‘old guy post punk’. How old were you when you realized you could rock?

Z. I’m still waiting.

TB: People have said that your band is a gateway drug to the super dark collective and everything they do. Why are you trying to push their super dark fudgey recipe on America?

Z. Anything/anyone dark scares America.

TB: What do you have to gain? do you get free brownies?

Z. No. Free Cub Scouts! (It’s a fucking joke!)

TB: I really like the photos you post on facebook and I’m not afraid if everyone knows that. Do you know Che Guevara T-shirt? I don’t like them.

Z. Who does?

TB: keith’s a really bad frontperson. don’t you think kat celentano (bass player that’s also in hill haints) should be in the front?

Z. Absolutely! I’m serious!

TB: Who are some other local bands you hate?

Z. Kingsteen!

TB: Kurt Vile sucks.

Z. Yes!

TB: Courtney Barnett also sucks.

Z. Yes! (Who?)

TB: I used to make red pepper and gouda cheese sandwiches for lunch. It’s vegetarian and sorta healthy and quick, but it got really old really fast and I’m sick of it. Now I need something else that’s cheap and i don’t have to heat up. Suggestions?

Z. I got sick and really old!

TB: I heard that you live in a super dark collective house with like Chris and Jon from your band and also Shane and John and Sarah and a whole bunch of local punks. Who’s your favorite bass player of all times?

Z. The Bass is the four string one, right?

TB: Why isn’t it Geddy Lee?

Z. He isn’t?

TB: So you hate Canadians.

Z. Eh?

TB: Are you gonna buy a Times Boredom t-shirt when we finally make them?

Z. Yes, but I’ll make sure I get the wrong size so I never wear it.

TB: What’s taking us so long?

Z.

TB: Serious questions: how long does it take you to write a song? Do you write all or most of the melodies? Are you gonna quit your band to form a supergroup with me? Why won’t you join Fucking Christ, my witchdoom band?

Z. I will eventually quit everything!

TB: Your drummer Jon is sexy.

Z. So he continues to say.

TB: Chris has a big moustache.

Z. Well, you know what they say…!

TB: You wanna get high?

Z. I’m high on life and positive vibes! Just kidding! Life is pointless.

TB: Ok but do you wanna get high with me?

Z. I don’t even get high with ME!

TB: What do you think of our review of your new album before you read it?

Z. It was the Citizen Kane of reviews. That’s stupid. Citizen Kane was not a review!

TB: How about after you read it?

Z. My life is a joke…and not a good one.

TB: What’s in the future? Not for you or your band, but like, in general… when are we gonna get jetpacks and flying cars?

Z. Most likely there will be a lot of soup and bread lines. Gluten free, of course!

TB: It’s been a delight to write these questions. I’m really good and professional guy at interviewing. What’s your favorite Sebadoh record?

Z. Destroyer

TB: I met Jason Lowenstein and he said I was cool.

Z. I just Googled him. He said I was cooler!

Mr. Cancelled’s “Every Town has its Dolls is” the most excellently humble post-punk ever with a post-rock star attitude

 

Mr. Cancelled has finally released their long awaited nearly 30 minute long ep and we can’t stop listening to it.  This lo-fi, indie rock, post punk masterpiece has melodies that are meticulously crafted and divinely inspired that soar above the mundane indie landfill surrounding them at every corner of mediocre indie rock… yet the band is as humble as the lo-fi packaging of a paper sleeve and a couple of printed decals on a CD-R reveals…

a2968322946_16(cover art by Shane Sanchez)

Made up of local legendary scenesters (all involved with the 0009935449_10Collective in major or minor ways) the band has many more claims to royalty than just being one of the best local rock bands around. A pop punk trio in the traditional sense, with Chris Brown on the bass cranked high setting the entire atmosphere for the songs, drummer Jon Cantiello (also of national superstars hailing from Glens Falls Candy Ambulance) a phenomenal driving force with kung fu precision and timing, and a bunch of swearing distorted noise coming out of Ziroli’s guitar as he seamlessly goes back and forth between rhythm, lead, solo, and just plain noisewash.  Not to mention the production work by local legend Paul Coleman of Haley Moley and Sinkcharmer which is crunchy, clear, and sharp at all points it needs to be to highlight every particular aspect of the band as it shines.

The major highlights of the album are the vocals and melodies, both mostly the province of self confessed ‘old post-punk guy’ Gary Ziroli’.   And indeed the band moves from pop punk to ‘Old Guy Post Punk’ seamlessly (like their fellow local bands and scenesters that are ominpresent here at Times Boredom because we’re in half of them like Dryer, Che Guevara T-Shirt, and Hill Haints), still making excellent original rock music in a traditional indie rock vein even though its major progenitor may be getting elderly and losing hair, which just makes it all the sweeter, more worldly, and more accepting that it’ll never be appreciated by as many people at the level it really deserves to be.  You could certainly say ‘Old Guy Post Punk’ is more of an attitude than a sound, but, you know, you’d be wrong.  It’s both.   And I’ve already discussed it enough for you to get bored with it most likely (if not write to timesboredom@gmail.com and I’ll write a whole article about it!).

Every song is a three (or almost three) minute masterpiece of verse, bridge, and chorus (or some variant thereof) proving once again that the art of punk rock songwriting will never die and is taken very seriously by them that hold fast to it.  It’s clear that every catchy melody and riff came to lead singer Ziroli in the middle of the night when the Spirit moved him to create something that sounded entirely original yet incredibly familiar in a comforting way to anyone that’s a fan of punk or post-punk.

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And the final real star here is the goddamned humility! Whoever’s writing the melodies is a true blue, hardworking artist that only cares about the results, and not whether any audience hears it, appreciates it, or even gives a shit. These songs are works of art for the art of songwriting, perfectly fine tuned and crafted down to every syllable sung, every bass melody underneath, every… snare… hit (inside joke).

‘Nowhere Again’ begins the record with a Sebadoh like melody that tells you exactly where this record is telling you it’s going to go, hahahah (fake laugh) ‘I’m going nowhere again’, and then it takes off and shoots to one of the catchiest melodies you’ll ever hear.  Oh yeah, it’s going nowhere alright!

‘Failure Street’ similarly brings you in with a catchy bassline and a subtle melody that gives way to an exploding chorus of high melody vocals about failing, while doing exactly the opposite.

‘Half Dead or Worse’ (ostensibly inspired by Glens Falls legendary folk songwriter/performer William Hale) is classic three-four cord pop punk with pop melodies that go back to super catchy nascent fifties rock songs and don’t let up until the 2 minutes end and you just want to hear it again.

But before you rewind, you’re on to ‘You Can Go’; another undeniably will get stuck in your head melody that owes as much to Sebadoh as it does to the Kinks (though Gary may very well deny he listens to either one).

‘Jesus Disturbed’, the standout track of the album will definitely get stuck in your head.  A perfectly crafted pop song full of hooks reminiscent of the dirgy but poppy Nirvana hits.

‘Every Town has its Dolls’ a song that sounds like a Mudhoney track sardonically inciting you to commit suicide because you’re gonna die anyway so you might as well choose the way you die.  And it ends in the most perfectly humble way, with a fuckup left in where Gary shouts ‘FUCK!  God damn it!’ as though he played the wrong cord or lost his voice.

Finally, ‘Show You’ (continuing with our grunge rock comparison theme, warranted or just for laughs), is like a Soundgarden song gone wrong that you can’t stop laughing at as you try to sing.  Classic mock in the vein of every indie rock band that wants you to know that they don’t take any of it very seriously, especially not the gods of rock nor themselves.

Just wondrous fun from a band that wants you to think they don’t take themselves very seriously; but while they’re heavy (and funny) on the self-deprecation, it’s clear that every note on this album is exactly where they want it to be and worked out that it should go.  All the melodies are memorable and catchy, but just enough, without any showboating at all, that you can call it… Mr. Cancelled.

 

We didn’t have time to interview THE MACHINE THAT WOULDN’T DIE before their tour, so we made one up

We were looking to interview Troy Agitprop costumed DIY punks The Machine that Wouldn’t Die before their tour this weekend of the Capital Region, but we couldn’t get in contact with them in time and we also didn’t try cause we’re really lazy. Plus we thought it would be way funnier if we just pretended to be them and skipped all the inevitable exposition.

tmtwdTB: So, Scott standing in for the the Machine that Wouldn’t Die, what would you say your music is?

SK (for TMTWD): College.

TB: Interesting interesting. A lot has been made of the costumes you wear on stage. Did you make them yourselves?

SK (for TMTWD): Theater arts.

TB: Well if you think that will change politics, at least at the local level, of course no one could be against that.

SK (for TMTWD): DIY Punk rock.

TB: I’m sorry; I didn’t get that?

SK (for TMTWD): College.

TB: I see. Don’t you think that’s unusual for a band your age?

SK (for TMTWD): Theater arts.

TB: A lot has been made of your so called ‘dissertation’ on the use of machinery to describe the takeover of the very fabric of reality by the technology we use and have used in the past that continues to generate different realities for different people, yet still somehow form a cohesive zeitgeist.

SK (for TMTWD): Do you have a question?

TB: Haha you got me there. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

SK (for TMTWD): College.

tmtwd2Well there you have it. If you’re not blown away by their agitprop performance art or their music, their intellectual agenda has to at least make you think hard and deep. They’re playing tonight at the Arts Center of the Capital Region with Saratoga Hawaiian vampires Dryer (some of whom work at a college) and Grimey Landfill Sludge band Che Guevara T-Shirt. They continue their tour tomorrow at Pauly’s Hotel in Albany with out of town yet locally loved performance art duo Home Body (also from college) and Troy synth rock mainstays Haley Moley (some of whom work at a college). Both shows are being put on by the inimitable 0009935449_10Collective. Both shows are welcome to people that are in college, have been to college, or haven’t been to college. They will be enjoyable to all that people that enjoy being entertained.

Girth control is the funniest band ever

FUCKING EVER. NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN THIS FUNNY!  FUCKING SRSLY!

Ok well maybe in the heyday of funny fun punk rock like the Descendants when they were on SST but BEFORE FAT WRECK-CHORDS! BEFORE FAT WRECK-CHORDS! That shit took it TOO FAR and it just wasn’t funny after a while and then it’s in the Base-Ket-Ball movie with the South Park guys and stripping cheerleaders and probably Blink 182 is involved and HOW THE FUCK DID WE GET HERE? Ok well some of that was funny and yeah that movie was fuckin funny but in general it’s just that, well, is it art?

GIRTH CONTROL HAS THE ANSWER:

WE’RE NOT IN IT FOR THE ART!

WE’RE IN IT FOR THE FUN!

WE’RE IN IT TO GET DRUNK!

AND SING SONGS SHORT AND FAST AND DUMB!

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Albany hasn’t had a really genuinely funny punk rock/ska band around here in some time, and Girth Control is filling the hole so much (SO FUCKING MUCH WITH SO MUCH FUCKING GIRTH!) that legendary scenesters like Sarah Winner and Ralph Renna (who they wrote a song about to thank) have taken notice and are behind them hundred percent brah!

SO GO SEE THEM TONIGHT AT THE LOW BEAT AND LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF! OR WE WILL FUCKING KILL YOUR CATS WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE READING THIS BECAUSE WE CAN SEE YOUR IP IF YOU DONT GO TO THE SHOW WE WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND KILL YOUR CATS FOR NOT SEEING THE FUNNIEST BAND EVER AND THEN YOU MOTHERFUCKERS BETTER WATCH OUT WE MEAN IT!! SRSLY!!!

Ok if you go to their bandcamp page and download their newest funniest fuckin record ever Shorter Faster Dumber we’ll let you slide this time but we better see YOUR FUCKIN PICTURE UP THERE SUPPORTIN THEM IT’S ONLY LIKE $5 YOU CHEAP BASTARDS OR YOUR CAT’S DEAD YOU FUCKIN HEAR ME?  NOT NOT DEAD DEAD NOT DEAD FUCKING! DEAD! CAT! IN! BOX!

Quantum phyics proof dooders.  Funniest band ever.

Haley Moley fat shamed me!

After enjoying Haley Moley’s set at Superdark Thursday (see video below), I was so impressed that I just had to buy a t-shirt!

Haley Moley performing their song ‘Parallel Executions’

However, when I approached lead singer/synth player Jennifer Maher Coleman to inquire whether they had a size triple XL shirt for a portly gentlemen such as myself, she indicated that they didn’t have anything that big. And if that wasn’t bad enough, guitar player and backing vocalist (also of super solo project Sinkcharmer) Paul Coleman indicated that a large would definitely fit me, since it fit him.  As if I could somehow squeeze into the gear that these active rockstars seen above were dancing around in while playing their instruments!

Feeling bloated and alone, I walked to another merch table at the show to ask if I could purchase a triple XL Super Dark shirt, but was met with the a similar response.

Listen up you fat shaming rockstars and skinny scenesters, just because you’re in great shape and are fit from rocking and dancing on stage doesn’t mean that all of your fans are!

But it’s not all bad news.  Super dark took pity on me and gave me a copy of the new Mr. Cancelled record, one size fits all!  And it’s awesome!  The music makes me feel better.

So if you see yr fat pal Mr. Koenig at the next Super Dark show, tell him to put down the pizza and beer, and buy him a Haley Moley or Mr. Cancelled album instead (and get yourself one while you’re at it).  Someday with the right support and the super awesome local music to dance to I just know I’ll be able to fit into one of the available t-shirt sizes!

Spookfish live Superdark Review

Spookfish performed as part of the Super Dark Monday show at Desperate Annie’s in Saratoga Springs on February 11.

It was described in the flyer simply as “electronics from NYC.” I didnt know if I should expect ambient space noise, techno-pop, or something in between.

Surprisingly, he alternated between live-mixing using a 4-track recorder and a keyboard, and playing an acoustic guitar.

The electronic movements created an amorphous space, enveloping the crowd. Switching back to guitar re-shaped and punctuated the hollowed space with clear, assymetrical themes.
Rather than layering these different sounds, he allowed each to speak for itself; the effect was a hypnotic call-and-response of stability and loss.

I let each form draw me further out until I was no longer standing in the middle of a pub. I was alone in an abandoned farmhouse, turning slowly in a musicbox dusty with lifetimes of hauntings. It was warm and peaceful in that little musicbox; not a bad place to spend a Monday evening.

–budderandjilly

We’re afraid to write an article about Maggot Brain

In our experience serious hardcore and metal bands don’t appreciate our weird brand of love indicated by mockery and stupid inside jokes.

The last time we tried to write about a straightforward hardcore/metal band, we received such backlash we had to remove it from the site. Comments such as ‘not funny’ and ‘the worst’ were thrown around on Facebook. We cried. All the tears.

mbMaggot Brain in their early days looking like they’re ready to kick our asses!

So despite the fact that we fucking love Maggot Brain’s 2012 opus Stop and Breathe and all the ep’s/splits we’ve been able to get our hands on and drool at the opportunity to experience their brutally intoxicating live shows, we’re just too afraid to write something we think is funny that we must refrain from even attempting to do so.

There are plenty of other similar bands out there like Dirt Church, Wet Specimens, Your Brain on Drugs, etc. that we’ve love to do an article on but, to be honest, we’re scared!

It’s a sad day when fake news sites are too afraid to pseudo-mock those they love. But when Maggot Brain finally releases their new album we’ve been anticipating for some time now, we’ll be happy whether they like this random nod or call us ‘the worst’. Either way, we’ll just have to keep our admiration to ourselves…

Wait, did I fuck that up again? Oh well. Here comes the fallout.