Posts Tagged ‘northern lights


Motion City Soundtrack Live

Motion City Soundtrack played at Northern Lights on 10.9.2011 and this is what I thought of the show:

The opening bands were hit or miss, the highlight of those being the band Aficianado.

They may not be the best band out there, most of their songs usually follow the same formula *cough* Staind, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam *cough* and I know, they’re not musically inclined other than for that pop/rock radio-play sound. All I say is, so what? They put on a fun show. They are fun guys and they just want people to come and have a good time…

But what really grinds my gears here is the crowd that an otherwise rhythmically pleasing band like Motion City draws…

you know the type

The hipster kids who wear scarves in the summer, the types of kids who have to get thick framed glasses and bring along a measuring tape to find out whose frames are thickest! The types of kids who all have their iPhones out the entire show, trying to record every minute of music so they can run home and upload it to youtube and facebook as to seemingly prove the world wrong: LOOK EVERYONE!!!!!! I went out and have a life! The types of kids who have nose rings. The types of kids that dye their hair pink. The types of kids that shout “Rage!” during a band who has never inspired a headbang to any crowd anywhere, ever. The types of kids where 2 people decide to try and make a mosh pit and crowd surf (in a crowd of maybe 250 people, [it was extremely satisfying to drop him on his head.])

So in short, it just goes to show how followers can ruin a great thing. Religion, I’m looking right at you. Except Bad Religion, they put on an awesome show worth headbanging, moshing and crowd surfing to!



Yonder Mountain String Band – Northern Lights 10/28/2011!

Thought that it was worth informing the masses that Yonder Mountain String Band will grace the venue Northern Lights (Clifton Park, NY) on Friday, October 28th.  The band has been around for a while and their shows often sell out in advance.  This is not the normal venue for this group; often they are playing in classic vaudeville theatres; this venue will be far more up front and personal.

Iv’e seen them play once before in Boston and was really impressed with their show; they are a mix of say Alison Krauss meets REM; active and happy music with a great beat and constant tempo. 

Check these guys out at their website and click on the Media link to either download a few tracks or simply listen to their streaming radio station; good stuff either way.

Tickets are a mere $17.50 in advance and $20 day of the show; a bargain!  You can learn more about this upcoming show by clicking here.


Print Mafia – Flogging Molly Print

I was checking out the local listings for upcoming shows and noticed that the February 20th Flogging Molly show at Northern Lights (Clifton Park, NY) is officially sold out.  It’s a bummer since I had thoughts of checking them out and clearly waited too long to make up my mind.

I have not seen Flogging Molly since I moved back from Boston and always felt they put on a good quality show.  Although they are not everyone’s cup of tea since they are more mellow and exemplify a contemporary blend of Celtic, rock, indie, and a wee bit of old school punk thrown in for good measure.  The band really can’t be catagorized as any one genre, but again, it’s also not for everyone.

I liked the print that the dynamic duo over at Print Mafia did for the band for a 2007 gig in Nashville.  The print is almost sold out and I think only two remain available on line; it sells for $100 and is signed and numbered.

If you want to purchase this print or want to check out some other very cool creations that Print Mafia seems to magically create on a weekly basis, click here.  The print is located in their SHOP under RARE POSTERS.  Enjoy!

To see if Flogging Molly is heading to your hometown, click here!


GWAR – C’mon, Go witness the horror!

If you have been following this blog from nearly it’s inception then you know we here at HiFi Central are huge GWAR fans.  Well, the band is making their yearly appearance tonight at Northern Lights (Clifton Park, NY) for a night of messy mayhem with the bodily fluid bonanza that they unleash on the devoted.  It’s an experience if you have never seen them and we encourage you to check them out if you can.

If you have not seen GWAR before, make sure you wear your crappiest clothes since anyone within 20 feet of the stage will get doust with fake blood, piss, and man juice in vast quantities.  Half of the entertainment is watching those that get squirted right in the face and actually enjoy it, hilarious.

Tickets are mere $20 and doors open at 6:30 for a 7:30 show; check out the GWAR goodies table since there are some pretty cool shirts and crap they have for sale.  Warm up groups tonight are The Casualties, Infernaeon, and Mobile Death Camp. 

If you are old like us and saw GWAR years ago don’t be worried about being the oldest one there, these guys have been around for 20 years and there were plenty of old school faithful in attendance as well a young whipper-snappers just seeing them for the first time.

Go witness the horror and have a great time! 

You can learn more about the show by clicking here.


Into Another – Seemless (1995)

While checking out the listings of my local indy/rock/metal venue (Northern Lights – Clifton Park, NY) did I notice the band Underdog was playing at a Tattoo/Hardcore expo and music festival called Rat-a-Tat 5 on November 27th.

Underdog (originally known as NYC Underdog) is headed by lead singer and founder Richie Birkenhead.  Birkenhead was a intregal part of the NYC hardcore seen in the late 80’s and early 90’s; Underdog was defining sound during that period along with bands like Youth of Today (also founded by Birkenhead), Token Entry, and Gorilla Biscuits, and Murphy’s Law.  Birkenhead broke off from the band due to personality conflicts and formed the rock band Into Another in 1991.  I saw Into Another in 1992 at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ with Iceburn; it was an awesome show and an experience I will always remember. 

In high school I was not particularly a huge hardcore music fan although many of friends in the skateboard scene were.  With hardcore I found the music too fast, lyrics too mumbled, and the atmosphere rather intimidating rather than empowering.  Hardcore shows were often held at local VFW’s and random halls that the promoters could find.  The acoustics were usually horrid, the floor oppresively hot and cramped, and the warm-up acts moderate at best.  With all this believe it or not attendance consistently exceeded the maximum capacity at these venues and shows were often a success.

The crowds often consisted of flocks of skinheads, self-righteous straight-edge hard core kids, skaters, and jocks who thought the pit was a place to punch people at random.  These are the primary reason’s why I was turned off to the whole hardcore scene; it was not the music really, but more the negativity that seemed to define and pervade most shows.  I felt that this often contridicted the actual positive vibe these shows were attempting to create for young kids; however for many fans these shows were a refuge.

As the hardcore genre began to wane in the early 1990’s and the introduction of  “alternative” music overtook national interest, the eventual demise of Underdog and other bands became inevitable; hardcore bands could either continue or decided to reinvented themselves.  Members from Youth of Today formed Shelter, Quicksand, and 411 and  Birkendhead formed Into Another..  The band was made up of Birkenhead (vocals), Tony Bono (Bass), Drew Thomas (Drums) and Peter Moses (guitar); the foursome had all come from previous NYC bands that met with some success, but not really getting the exposure each deserved.  Into Another attempted to take advantage of  the blossoming  “alternative” music scene but with many bands at that time the market was simply too saturated.

In past interviews Birkendhead has indicated that it was more the fault of the record company and poor distribution and marketing that lead to their demise being noticed.  I have to agree with this statement, since I had never heard of Into Another until a friend approached me with news that Birkenhead had started a new band.  Once hearing the the self-titled first album Into Another (1991), I was hooked and couldn’t believe that I was listening to Birkenhead; the contrast between Underdog and Into Another was a complete 180; I really liked what direction Birkenhead was taking his creativity.

The band went on to release a second album, Ignoraus (1994) and it was a fairly successful album, although any real notiriety was restricted to word of mouth.  The song Drowning probably was the best song on the album. The band released a third album Seemless (1995) and this album in my humble opinion is one of the most overlooked and underated rock albums ever made.   The reason is that Seemless is among one of the best produced and consistently solid albums for its time; the album cranks one hit after another. 

Sadly, this album only had one semi-big hit T.A.I.L  that reached #39 on the U.S Billboard charts for Mainstream Rock in 1996.  Although impressive, it was a short lived celebration for band; Seemless would not get the the mainstream music rotation that it deserved.  The album and Into Another for the most part, faded off into the abyss of other great bands that tried to get discovered as the next big thing and were looked over.

Seemless is a powerful album from start to finish; the opening song Mutate Me is gritty, hard, and powerful with a non-stop tempo that introduces the album in such an amazing way.  Locksmiths & Lawyers clearly another high tempo song does a great job of keeping the listener enthralled with the pace that Into Another creates and maintains; Birkenheads vocals and harmonies keep everything together tight.  T.A.I.L was the song that got the most airplay for the band and in many ways I can see why, the song is catchy and clever, two of the primary ingredients for capturing a mainstream audiences attention, however, I feel that either Mutate Me or the title track Seemless would have been a more appropriate for introducing this album and the band to college radio.  Songs like Getting Nowhere and For a Wounded Wren are mellow songs that calm the album down in the beginning of each song, but clearly carry themselves as heavyweights as the songs progress. Simply put, there are no “power ballads” on this album.  Into Another went in to writing and arranging the tracks on this album with a lot of forethought and created a masterpiece. 

Songs like After Birth and Regardling Earthlings exemplify Birkenheads inate ability to write; the lyrics are well placed and clearly are sincere when he chose them for this song.  In past interviews with Birkenhead, he said that he poured his soul into this band and it shows.  The song May I is probably the weakest song on the album if there was one, but it too is well done since it provides a spot in the album for a much needed shift in mood and tempo, and gears quickly change with the album ending The Way Down.  This song is such an appropriate way to end an album; especially when one has taken the time to listen to the album in its entirety.

Into Another was slated to release a follow up album entitled Soul Control the following year (1996) but the band had too many internal problems and broke up that year as well.  You can find a few songs from Soul Control via the Web, although most of them are not nearly the same caliber as the songs off of Seemless. Granted, what is out there is very limited since the album is still shelved unfinished, so it’s hard to determine really how good or bad the album really is or is not.

Birkenhead has regrouped with his band Underdog and is currently performing gigs at random venue’s across the country; many 30 somethings are willing to pay for some nostalgic acts and look forward to remembering their highschool days.  Hardcore bands from the 80’s are no different than hair metal bands attempting to capitilize on older crowds still  loyal.  Although I it would be cool for Birkenhead to perform a few Into Another songs off of Seemless  with Underdog, I doubt he will. 

In 2002 the bass player for Into Another (Tony Bono) passed away, this tragedy put any chance of Into Another reforming now or in the future.  I’m sure that Birkenhead respects that the band would simply not be the same without Bono, and I think that is completely understandable.  If you listen to the bass lines in Seemless, Bono was the cornerstone of the band and I’m sure is irreplacable in so many ways.

If you can find a copy of Seemless out there in your used music store grab it; although I have been told that it is out of print and quite the find by hardcore fans since it features Birkenhead.  If you can find it, you won’t be dissappointed and play it really, really, really loud!

Into Another’s Seemless gets 5 out of 5 stars.


Queensryche Caberet?

Queensryche was a band that I loved in high school, my favorite albums were Rage for Order (1986),  Operation Mindcrime (1988) ,and the one and only Empire (1990); an album that some believe is their finest and others consider it when they “sold out”. I personally think it is simply an album that granted them the most noteriety and took them in another direction which albums should do.

Not much has been heard from Queensryche in the past decade and what albums they may have released have not come with much fanfare or overwhelming response from their fans or general public.  What albums they have released over the past decade clearly have not come to close to their earlier work; and furthermore have not regained the foothold this band once had. I’ve always held on to Empire and play it on occasion when I feel like hearing “Jet City Woman” or “Best I Can”, that happens very rarely but for sentimental reasons I just can’t part with the album; it’s just a well produced album with great songs.

Recently I discovered that Queensryche is touring, however it is an “adult only” show; I guess you can read this two is that only gray haired 40 somethings would go, so yes, it would be “adults only”, or two, it is a risque show that is not appropriate for children under 17, well…which is it? It’s actually both. 

Clearly Queensryche’s fan base are more my generation, old farts that still think they are cool and think we are hip (c’mon, we listen to metal from the 80’s and tell our kids it’s still mainstream music…sadly, no it’s not!) but who cares as long our kids are not getting “Bieber Fever”, right?

I’m tossed about this caberet thing that Queensryche is doing, why not a regular rock show with some other bands from the 80’s, perhaps like White Lion, Whitesnake, Winger, or perhaps Slaughter (yes, all the band mentioned were cheezy but hey, they had their time in the spotlight rightfully and were cool at one time, don’t deny it!) but a caberet thing sounds like an MTV acoustic thing that seems far too staged and takes away from the mystique that made the band so unique and appealing. 

When I first heard that Queensryche was doing a caberet style show all I could think was that they were finally “jumping the shark”, and as most who know what this means…it basically puts the last nail in bands coffin.  It’s sad in some ways that these bands eventually fall from the greatness and popularity they once had, reduced to trying to recreate themselves and in the case of Queensryche, totally going in a wacky direction.  I think an acoustic tour and perhaps selling it as “an intimate night with Queensryche” would be far more appealing.  Ok, make it a dinner show and something that an adult audience of fans would appreciate and respect.  I think that something cozy with the band, perhaps a Q & A during of after the show would really be something unique and worthwhile.  Fans of bands from the 80’s would see the band as tangible and finally given the opportunity to make the connection they’ve always wanted; especially when they were teenagers.  I think having dinner with my wife listening to a mellow acoustic version of “Silent Lucidity” and then getting to ask Geoff Tate some questions about then and now would be awesome; don’t you?

Let’s see now they would rather feature go-go dancers and burlesque dancers (ok, hot girls and metal?  Sure that can work for me), contourtionist’s (ok, more hot girls that can get in many “unique” positions, that works), aerial acts ( huh? ok, I guess but why?), professional ballet dancers (uh, clearly not professional enough to get a gig with a reputable company eh? But perhaps their hot, so ok,  but boring I’m sure), jugglers? (yikes, Queensryche really is hitting rock bottom, but perhaps on second thought I should bring my 3-year old since he’ll be entertained;  I wonder if they will have free cotton candy and popcorn?), but drag queens ???? (ok, now I’m really avoiding your show, yuck!) 

So yes, they will be playing their slew of hits but also a bunch of “never before heard music”…so what!  I want hits only guys, your “never before released music” should have been released when you at the height of your career, 20 years later will seem more like filler music to draw out a longer show…snore.  A band from the 80’s releasing new music falls short of the mark and often fails to get the fans interest; most of us get bored really quick.  Sorry, Queensryche is not Zeppelin; if they released something never before heard I’m all ears…but Queensryche c’mon, please! You guys missed that train over a decade ago..

Yep, that is the featured performers at the Queensryche caberet performance and will cost you $30, sorry but I would rather catch another show or perhaps spend $10 on a few old used Queensryche cd’s at my local music store.  I’m not sure what they are thinking but it doesn’t appeal to me and seems cheezy, not cutting edge as they seem to be trying to be.  They sell the show as “art, lust, dancing and naughty fun” sounds more like an attempt to recreate themselves as a tool for “saving marriages” rather than remaining the band they use to be.  Sorry Queensryche, but this fan is not interested in your show on August 22 at Northern Lights (Clifton Parkm, NY).

I guess I would rather remember you guys when you just played your music in arena’s or small venues and connecting with your fan base, this caberet thing just is too much, sorry.

If you do go to this show please let us at HiFi Central what you thought and if it was worth the ticket price.  We are also curious about the set list.


DEVO Tour 2010 – Northern Lights 7/31

Yes, brace yourselves…the rockclub Northern Lights (Clifton Park, NY ) will have their venue honored with the presence of the legendary group DEVO on July 31, 2010.  I’m sure this show will be sold out in no time and promises to be a fun time listening to DEVO music past and present.

DEVO is touring in support of their new album Something For Everyone which is their first album in 20 years.  Although here at HiFi Central we have not had the pleasure to listen to it yet, there is an good blog review of the album at this link, so check it out if you are interested.

In 2009, prior to the Something For Everyone release, the band was doing 2-night shows where they played Are We Not Men? (night 1) and Freedom Of Choice (night 2) in their entirety; I’m curious what they will do with this tour, I’m sure it will be a culmination of all three albums so clearly there will be a little bit of everything for everyone at this show.  I’ve read past reviews of their shows and nearly everyone was happy with the performance and selection of songs they choose to play, oddly one reviewer was shocked that they never played their identifiable hit Whip It, is this possible?  I can’t imagine a DEVO show without this classic, can you?

I’m not sure how much tickets are, but from past experience they usually run around $45, which is a bit steep for DEVO.  Get your tickets as soon as they go on sale, I’m sure they will sell out quickly!

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