I ended up seeing Easy Action twice in the same night last Friday; after they finished up their set at The Flywheel at around 10:15 or so, they then scooted another 25 miles north up I-91 where they played an even better set at The Wheelhouse in Greenfield. Not that they even had much of a chance at The Flywheel, since the sound at the beginning of the Flywheel set was pretty rough; I couldn't hear the guitar at all at first, just mostly the drums and vocals, and then midway through the first song John abruptly stopped singing and dropped the mic to the floor because he was getting shocked by it. Eventually the mic situation got sorted out, and then after that the problems with the sound seemed to go away also. There were a few sludgier songs early on in the set that I didn't recognize, either -- new songs? or songs from a record I don't have? I never found out, because they didn't have a set list written out for either show -- but, in any case, it wasn't until about halfway through the set that things started to warm up.
I ended up hearing about the second show while I was milling about in the front room before the earlier show, thumbing through the Flywheel's zine library; it was around that time that Thurston Moore showed up and started chatting with the band just as I was standing there reading a zine called I Would Punch An Ass For Cake (true story). John Brannon: "Yeah, we're playing another show after this one, a few miles up the road", but nobody seemed to know the name of the place or exactly how to get there, so as we were all leaving, I told Easy Action that I was just going to follow their van, and then we both did U-turns in the center of Greenfield a couple of times before finding the place. It turns out that The Wheelhouse is actually a pretty nice little room, tucked along a back alley and hidden downstairs in a basement somewhere, with a whole bunch of plumbing and sprinkler pipes sticking out, and a bunch of writing on the bare stone walls so that it still looks like an actual basement. Easy Action came out swinging this time, changing up the set list from their earlier show by opening up with "I'm Waiting" (with John's voice on the first verse sounding like one long solid "WOOAAHHRRR", just like back in the old Negative Approach days), and then even doing their 10CC cover, "I'm Not In Love", which they didn't do at the Flywheel. They pretty much ripped it up and laid it down, with about half of the people who were in the audience at The Flywheel making the drive up to Greenfield to catch the second show as well. If you were one of those people who were at the somewhat-flabby Flywheel show but then didn't go to the second show, it would've turned your whole night around, trust me.
The Deacons opened up the show at The Flywheel, and I've known Rich for over 25 years now (and Al for a little bit, too), so it was nice to hang out and catch up with them and buy a couple of records and stuff. A band from around that same area of Massachusetts, called Powerblessings, went on before Easy Action at the Wheelhouse show, and they friggin' kicked a load of ass-- I don't know how many of you out there remember a band called Pipe, who were on Merge back in the '90s (I've posted a couple of their singles here), but these guys sound a lot like them. They were supposed to play at a Whitney House show that got cancelled by the hurricane a couple of weeks back, so I'm glad that I ended up catching them here. I don't really know any of the words to their songs but the singer's viewpoint seems pretty great, way more amused than pissed off, like in a "well, that shit was pretty fucking stupid" kind of way. I saw someone else compare them to The Jesus Lizard, which is something that I really can't follow along with, unless you amend it to mean some of Pissed Jeans' faster songs mixed with Pegboy/"Understand"-era Naked Raygun. Anyway, they've got four songs up on Bandcamp which are supposed to be on a 7" that's coming out soon-- I'll go ahead and post one of them here...
Easy Action -
"Dead of Night"
The Deacons -
"D-Train to Brighton"