For Starters....We would like to thank everyone who helped make Dimestock happen! We’d also like to apologize (kind of) for any drunken rambling regarding music (Kim), and also if we didn’t get a chance to see your band or have nothing to say about you. We broke this review up into two for Friday and Saturday night, and separated bands so you can skim down to your own band, you pompous bastards. We still love you though.
If you didn't go to Dimestock....that sucks.
The Hampden Mountain Boys started Friday night off. Where were you? Ok, so maybe it was 5:30 on a Friday afternoon...but the guys played great. It's refreshing to hear something different in the area. They whip out the banjo from time to time, and have a harmonica player who apparently has 14 harmonicas (but only 4 work?)...Also, I have heard rumors of a PBR microphone, but haven't experienced it yet (apparently it is difficult to set up...or maybe it's a myth.) They have some well contrived and captivating originals, with a folk-rock feel to them. Generally, the covers they do are indie-folk bluegrass type tunes. They did a great job with Uncle Tupelo's "New Madrid" and played some Grateful Dead as well, starting off with Friend of the Devil, into I Know You Rider, and then back into Friend of the Devil.
The vocals are smooth with some excellent grittiness...Reminds me of Tom Waits at times.
Q: Are you all from Hampden?
A: 'None of us are from Hampden, but when we were more bluegrassy we felt like we needed to be named after a mountain, and the landfill was the biggest thing in the area. So we called ourselves the Hampden Mountain boys after the landfill. We figure we are little better than trash. We’ve been playing 1.5-2years. I guess we'd describe ourselves as cosmic American music.'
We like to describe them as psychedelic indie country. They are (accidentally) super hip, and we love it. Influences include Bob Dylan, Blitzen Trapper, The Band, and probably PBR and whiskey.
Suit Mullet! A sweet band with a slightly awkward name, but we appreciate it's originality. Here we've got drums, two guitarists, funky bass, some synth, and
they often have a saxophone player join them, who is also a member of The Running Gags. Their covers included Blackstreet's No Diggity (we liked the way they worked it...), Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles, a very sexy cover of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On, a couple of excellently done MGMT covers, and their cover of Bill Wither's Use Me as well as Stevie Wonder's Superstition were fantastically jammed upon and danced around. The tunes are smooth, and the vocalists can roar. Great energy on stage, always had fun seeing them, and we even got some rapping out of the guest sax player. ("Ohhh snap, this kid raps?")
For their last song, one of the guitarists from The Running Gags as well as one of the guitarists from Restless Groove joined them on the stage. This jam was tight, and classified as 'electronic reggae rave' if I remember correctly. It reminded me a bit of Lotus, with a heavier funk kick.
Influences include Tool, Franz Ferdinand, Incubus, Weezer, Cake, Radiohead, James Taylor, Hewie Lewis.
Raw Chicken was a great addition to the mix at Dimestock, and it was not your typical college bar band. They were playing some great, tight bluegrass, and the older crowd was feeling it. They would be the type of thing you would see outside in some North East downtown. I would love to see a full show from this band.
Funk Thrust never fails to put on a hell of a show. Also known as Funk Shway/Schway? Who cares. But Funk Thrust is a cooler name. It's been said that these guys don't really have time for originals...So, here's some of their covers: James Brown- Soul Man, The Animals- House of the Rising Sun, Rage Against the Machine- Killing in the Name, ACDC- TNT, a couple Sublime tunes, among a couple other funky classics, some Reel Big Fish, and Incubus. Needless to say, the crowd is always moving for these guys, which is crucial. If you're not going to play any originals you better be playing Epic covers. They have a way of executing their covers as if they were originals. The 3 horn players are a perfect addition to this band, and make Funk Thrust one of the only bands in the area with a horn section. They're speeecial. (I love horns, and think it adds 5 times more energy to their performance)
The performance at Dimestock was just about as good as always. However, I don't think the horns played on enough of the songs...umm, how can you play a Reel Big Fish song and not have the horns play?
These guys have gone through a couple different singers, and the latest singer is great. Anyone that can belt out House of the Rising Sun with raw energy like Eric Burdon...well, fuck yes. The guitarist is incredibly nasty in the most modest manner. The bass lines are important in such a funk-driven band. The bassist knows this and takes care of business, no problem. Special guest Friday evening at Dimestock? Restless Groove's drummer. Their original drummer had to see a guy about a car...
Frank and the Red Hots are fun, tight, and funky. I didn't see their whole show, but some of the covers I heard from them were Roadhouse Blues by The Doors, Aeroplane by RHCP, Why Don't We Do it in the Road by The Beatles, and One Way Out by The Allman Brothers. All very well done!
Unfortunately I haven’t seen them do anything that really makes them stick out in the music scene around here. I’d like to see them headline, maybe upstairs at The Dime some night to see what they’re really capable of.
Restless Groove straight fucking delivered Friday night! These guys always rock The Dime, but Friday it felt as though they were playing with extra confidence and energy (this is what we've personally been looking for!) They played many of their originals that will be on their new cd...coming very soon. It seems like they are extending their jams....They played What Time Is It by The Spin Doctors and jammed out for a while. Their solos and jams can be almost spacey and ethereal, and then they'll spin you in the other direction with heavy face-melting insanity. (That's quotable.)
They had a guest rapper up on stage for a couple of songs...Downey's mad skillz kept the energy flowing. This kid can rap.
Restless is the only band I've heard that incorporates a Super Mario Brothers jam into their show. Dude...this shits awesome. They also play a cover of The Talking Head's Life During Wartime...the performance of this song on Friday night is the best we've seen yet. We got to hear a few Primus tunes, which is always greatly appreciated. On another note....The drummer for Restless Groove is insane. He's all like 'Yea, I shatter cymbals, what of it?' Yes folks, he shattered a cymbal...and we think it's because he recently spent some time with the drummer from Styx. He also likes to go crazy with double bass with little expression on his face, twirlin' a drumstick and drinkin' a beer...I feel a song forming here...
How did they close out Dimestock night 1, you ask? With a fucking epic Herbie Hancock jam. Joining them on stage were the horn players and guitarist from funk thrust, and the two guitarists from Suit Mullet..and maybe some other people...I always bitched about how everyone plays guitar. Everyone. But when you get 5 nasty guitar players, a funky bassist, a crazy drummer, and some horns up on stage to jam on a jazz-rock fusion classic...magical things happen. Thank You, we love you!
Thanks again to all the musicians who played...we love what you do, and we love to see everyone jamming together!
Here's our Requests: No More RHCP covers unless it's off a CD that came out before Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik. Hampden Mt Boys and Funk Thrust need to collaborate on a cover of The Band's Don't Do It. Funk Thrust to cover any Aquabats song. More Funk, all the time, everywhere. And lastly, where the hell are the keys? More keys please.
All photos were not taken by us and are being used without permission. Thanks!
Collaborative review by Kim Morrison, Heather Omand, and Beth Saker