BASEMENT DAZE TV

UNDERGROUND. LITERALLY.

Fresh off of their European tour with Fu Manchu, Venice Beach’s The Shrine unleashed an unhealthy dose of psychedelic violence to a small, jam packed room of willing participants in Allston’s Gay Gardens. Also on the bill were Brooklyn garage rockers Dirty Fences and Boston stoner/psych kings Elder, whose set was cut short by the arrival of the Boston police. Coincidentally, this would be the last show at Gay Gardens and be followed by a string of crackdowns. After the show I hopped into what could have been the “sketchy van” described in the band’s bio and we headed for the nearest late night pizza joint, where I grilled The Shrine about touring, sweating and bumping elbows with basement crowds over a fresh pie and basket of onion rings.

I’ve decided to try something new here and post this episode in two parts, partially so that I can make the overall piece longer while keeping the videos short, but also to being to post something in time for the start of The Shrine’s US tour with Graveyard. As I found myself at a good point for the end of part one, it hit me that I could approach each part differently, giving each one its own story arch and feel. Musically, part one focuses more on the trashier, high energy aspect of The Shrine’s sound (the violence part), with the talking bits focused on their recent European tour and playing basement shows. Part two will pair the slower, more melodic side of The Shrine (psychedelic) with some of the other subjects that came up in the interview. Stay tuned for part two!

To revive is to breath new life, and as their name would suggest, Northwesterners RVIVR have been doing just that; stirring up and jolting to consciousness punks across multiple continents with righteous pop punk jams that brim with positive energy and the sheer exuberance of youth. Frontman Matt Canino (who shares vocals duties with co-guitarist Erica Freas), believes that punk is, at its essence, an exchange of ideas, and RVIVR’s emphatically empathetic lyrics beg for everyone to sing along.

Last year around this time RVIVR rumbled over the East Coat, and naturally, given the accessibility restrictions of Boston’s music venues, they played a basement show in Allston, so I crammed underneath a PA speaker in the crowded, subterranean space and let the camera roll. As the humidity from the sea of a hundred sweaty kids fogged up the lens before condensing into beads of moisture, I was glad to be isolated from the convulsive super-organism that had come into existence and enveloped most of the room.

Afterwards I caught up with the band, who enthusiastically shared their thoughts on the compromises that come with playing different types of spaces, the inclusiveness and accessibly they strive for, and the joy of signing along. I’ll probably put up another clip of outtakes form the interview at some point, as there were some good bits that didn’t make the final edit. Enjoy!

As a side note, last week (May 15) the band’s house was robbed and their entire band fund is gone. Mega bummer! So, if you like what you hear, why not buy a present for yourself (you’ve earned it!) or someone special and support the band in the process? www.rumbletowne.com has the goods!

The Czech Republic’s See You In Hell grew up on punk rock during the 80’s under the communist regime of the former Soviet satellite, where the culture was especially subversive. Forming in the mid nineties and remaining active ever since, Basement Daze caught up with See You In Hell for the last show of their first ever US tour, where guitarist Filip discussed being a punk during the “communist times” and how playing secret basement shows reminds him of the good old days.

Ann Arbor, MI’s The Appleseed Collective have a unique approach to touring. Rather than trying to play a different town every night, they prefer to spend some quality time in a given place, soaking in their surroundings while dazzling passerby’s on the street with vintage Americana and Gypsy-jazz folk. The Collective’s stay in Boston was marred by dismal weather, forcing them to sample the city’s open mic scene, where they met me.  This episode finds the Appleseeds playing to a raucous (but friendly) crowd at the very colorful Gay Gardens. Enjoy!

I should also mention that the band is trying to raise money for a bio bus via Kickstarter. I wish I could have gotten this out with more than three days to go, but such is life. They have a very long way to go, but in the off chance of any mysterious, wealthy benefactors feeling generous out there, here is the link.

Boston’s Ramming Speed is one of the most energetic and intense live metal acts around today, exuding a true DIY spirit. Their bio speaks of “beer soaked rock n’ roll riffs”, and as this video reveals, their riffs ARE literally soaked in beer. I caught up with the guys in Ramming Speed for the inaugural episode of Basement Daze after they headlined night one of the three day Smash It Dead Fest, which benefited the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.