Jimmy and Austin had the esteemed honor to perform and record a choral version of “Death of the Inferno” with the Singing in the Rain Family Choir last month as part of their “Sing Local” series. The result is one of the most gorgeous versions of this Bad Things classic you may ever hear. Here’s a video from the live performance. Stay tuned for more info on the CD release.
Well, The Bad Things have played our last show of the year and are headed into our 14th year as a band. Crazy.
Hope everyone has safe and merry holidays with their loved ones. Here’s us doing The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” last Friday at the Funhouse. See you next year.
In a joint effort, Tacoma-based literary site Creative Colloquy and the Nearsighted
Narwhal, a store whose sole focus is the myriad forms of DIY culture, will be releasing a compilation album featuring the one and only Bad Things. Entitled Valentine’s Day Massacre at the Narwhal, it’s a collection of short crime noir stories (mostly locally written) and music put together in homage to the radio shows of the 1930’s.
The album will feature the works of writers: L. Lisa Lawrence (South Sound Magazine), Jack Cameron (Tacoma Stories), Christian Carvajal (The Weekly Volcano), Jenni Prange Boran (Blue Bunny), Gregory Knight Miskin, William Turbyfill (Literally Tacoma), and Michelle Biddix-Simmons.
Featured musical tracks are provided by: The Happy Sinners, Dennis Ellis and, you guessed it, The Bad Things.
The album will be released in both CD form and in digital format. CD’s will be available at the Nearsighted Narwhal in Tacoma and at their monthly Creative Colloquy readings at the B Sharp coffee house.
Digital albums will be available via Bandcamp or by clicking the link above.
What a year 2014 was!
We played with some great bands like El Radio Fantastique, The Dolomites, Chervona, Rattletrap Ruckus, Lone Madrone, The Mongrel Jews, Gigantor, The Gloria Darlings, Baby Gramps, Bakelite 78, Danbert Nobacon and too many more to mention. We lost our dear friend Daniel Adam Driskill (RIP), we released our 4th full-length CD to rave reviews, finally got back to Portland and played Tacoma and Seabrook for the first time, had our biggest and baddest Cabaret Macabre yet and went on indefinite hiatus for the first time in 12 years.
In fact, here’s a little video from this year’s Cabaret Macabre. This is us performing “Drunken Doughboy” with our longtime dancer friend and co-conspirator Miss J9 Fierce.
We hope to be back in action at some point in 2015 but to all our dear friends and fans, thanks for all the support and love. It’s been a hell of a year and here’s to many more.
The Bad Things
P.S. Seattlites, if you still want to see some Bad Things in action, be sure to check out our member’s other projects: Bakelite 78, Low Hums, L’Orchestre D’Incroyable and Miss Mamie Lavona the Exotic Mulatta and her White Boy Band. All well worth your time.
In honor of the holiday season we are offering, for one day only, $5 downloads of our most recent release “After the Inferno”! This deal ends tonight at midnight so pick yourself up a download on our Bandcamp page.
Also, from today until December 3rd, CD Baby is offering one cent shipping on all physical CD orders. This includes international shipping! Perfect time to pick up a copy of your favorite Bad Things album for that special someone. Just head over here.
Well, Cabaret Macabre was a smashing success full of incredible music, dancing, costumery, debaucherous activities of all sort, perfect….perfect.
An appropriate send-off for a well-needed rest. We announced on Facebook and at the show but we will be going on hiatus for an indefinite period of time while we recharge, relax and focus on other things. We have no doubt we’ll be back, just not sure when at the moment. May be six months, may be longer.
We’ll still update the site as we got tons of live tracks, unreleased tracks, videos, anecdotes and lord knows what else that we can share. Stay tuned for the next show! Bad Things out.
P.S. Here are some fan photos from our set at Cabaret Macabre. Enjoy!
Yet another stellar review of After the Inferno courtesy of Mark S. Tucker of the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange blog. Less than four weeks away from the release date everyone!
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
I’ve said it before, but let me repeat it once more: one of the best things I did in the last decade was sign into FAME as a critic. After 30 years writing mainly for assholes, and one or two fairly nice guys along the way, Big Dave Pyles gave me what I asked for: complete freedom to do as I damn well please, and from that—after departing the realm of progrock, avant-garde, outside jazz, and so on, sick to death of idiot publishers, editors, and fellow crits while strongly desiring to get back and re-invest my affinities for bluegrass, folk, and blues while never surrendering my imperishable love for outside fare—I soon came to the attention of a number of savvy PR people and was supplied musics that completely revivified my flagging spirit, musics precisely like The Bad Things’ After the Inferno, stuff I would never have run across otherwise. So thanks Dave, all ‘y’all PR peeps, and especially the musicians who have produced such wondrous fare for such thirsty ears as mine and the FAME readers’. Siiiiiigh!!
And The Bad Things are, well, uh…hmmm, lemme typify them in frontman Jimmy “The Pickpocket” Berg’s own words:
“We’ve ventured into new musical styles, and all our lives have changed. We’ve lost loved ones, some of us had to quit drinking, and I’ve become a parent, so After the Inferno is aptly titled. It’s a rebirth for us. We’re going into a future that’s not easily pigeonholed, and we prefer it that way.”
He’s not exaggerating. He and the lads have concocted a blend of folk, jazz, country, jug, cabaret, rough pop, Balkan, and God only knows what else to come up with a sound that would go exceedingly well with a number of my favorite groups in this bandwidth: The Carnivaleros, The Woes, The Asylum Street Spankers, and so on, groups in which the roots element is very strong but, just when it rears its beautifully odd Americana head, commences to slipping and sliding everywhichwhere and beyond. That’s not a complaint, it’s a deep compliment. Who the hell needs more chart music? Sure as hell not me.
Berg has one of those odd voices part stage presence, part nerd, part Dylan, part bad boy, but always strangely entertaining, and his ensemble is an aggregate of broken angels quite familiar with the mean streets but also mindful of the presence of redemption amid searing honesty and cynicism snarkily delivered. There’s, thank God, a helluva lot of swearin’, cussin’, stump jumpin, and nasty grumpin’ in After the Inferno, sets of mean-spirited lyrics, one verse after the other, cheek to jowl with a honky-tonk, terbacky-spittin’, barn raisin’, fuck-you-and-the-goat-you-rode-in-on spirit, all and sundry gritty, sly, and rambunctious. You’ll hear ‘Murrican, Mezzican, Balkan, klezmeric, and other refrains in the sextet’s music strains, all nailed together in The Bad Things’ iconoclastic perambulations.
This really is no-nonsense rousty music simultaneously pissed as hell while amused with itself, the result an unusually American amalgamation of everything Berg could lay his hands on, as long as it had rime and dust, an evocation of how the bread basket came to metropolis and then reversed the flow. It’s as rednecky and dirt encrusted as 1950 and then as moderne as two minutes ago, finding ground that quakes and steams, roils and smokes, then discomforts, irritates, and bemuses, banjos, mandos, sousaphones, ‘cordines, and various implements of elegant tomfoolery wailing away as you fret and fume, guffaw and lament, choke and chortle…and come away only wanting more.
And, Matthew Forss from the Inside World Music blog had this to say:
With many lineup changes and tragedies over the years, The Bad Things seem to rise up from the ashes of the past with their latest recording, After The Inferno. The Seattle-based group combines a quirky, alt-pop, and a fusion medley of musical styles and instruments throughout the album. The music takes on a gypsy, cabaret, country, folk, and punk characteristic that is highly-creative, unique, and memorable. The slow and emotive “Green Grass,” is a classic folk and country tune with alternative leanings and beautiful back-up vocals. The gypsy rave hit, “Grifter’s Life,” is a rollicking tune with great vocals and a danceable rhythm lead by accordion, horns, and percussion. With song elements bordering on folk, alternative, and indescribable, The Bad Things know how to create music with soul and substance. There are a few similarities to Neutral Milk Hotel. Get it today.
This Wednesday, July 23, we’ll be playing a very cool show. Legendary post-punk drummer Martin Atkins will be giving a lecture on the current state of the music business from the perspective of an independent musician who has done time in Public Image Ltd., Killing Joke, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails & Pigface.
Martin will give his lecture at 7:30pm followed by The Bad Things. Stick around after our set as we’ll be followed by Lynval Golding of The Specials’ new band Gigantor and Seattle’s own horror-punk stalwarts Spiderface closing out the night. Get tickets at Brown Paper Tickets and pay no service fees.
We’ll have download cards of the new album for sale so you can download the new record After the Inferno the second it comes out on Tuesday, September 16.
Speaking of, we also want to announce that the CD Release party for After the Inferno is happening on Friday, September 19 at Columbia City Theater. We’re still working on the opener but should be announcing that soon. Advanced tickets are available here.
We’ll also be playing some regional dates in celebration of the release:
Thursday, September 25 – Bellingham, WA at The Green Frog with Rattletrap Ruckus
Saturday, September 27 – Olympia, WA at TBA.
Look for more regional dates soon. Also, we’ll be at Big Al Brewing in White Center on Saturday, August 9th. Also, look for an announcement of a new music video we’ve been brewing up. So many exciting things!
P.S. If you didn’t fill out our survey, please do. It will help us determine our next moves in terms of travel and booking. If you already filled it out, we love you. Thanks.
Years ago, in the late 90s and early oughts, Jimmy the Pickpocket and Mad Wilcox were in a band called A Midnite Choir. Back then, long before bands like Gogol Bordello and Devotchka brought “gypsy punk” to the masses, there were only a small handful of bands in the Pacific Northwest that shared a love of accordions, banjos, drinking and songs about bad behavior. Here in Seattle, the Choir, Circus Contraption and bands like Black Cat Orchestra were representing. Down south in Portland, there was The Dolomites led by eccentric accordionist Stevhen Iancu.
Stevhen would sit on a toilet while playing accordion and would also deep fry food inside a garbage can on stage much to the delight, or sometimes disgust, of the front row. One memory that always sticks out is a bill we shared with them at Satyricon in Portland with Reverend Glasseye. Stevhen also enjoyed breathing fire and when the club cut The Dolomite’s sound and then refused to pay them, Stevhen poured lighter fluid on the bar and proceeded to light the bar on fire, resulting in 2 foot flames and a very surprised bartender, who promptly handed over the cash. Ah, the good ‘ol days!
We know we’ve been teasing this new record for going on two years now but the release day is fast approaching! It’s going into the final mixing and mastering sessions next month and it’s time for us to start planning the artwork.
For this release, since we’re releasing it on vinyl, the artwork is going to be very important. So, we’ve decided to source artwork from our talented fans. We just have a feeling that you all can come up with something that we wouldn’t have even thought of.
We are asking artists who are interested to send us their e-mail addresses. At some point during this next week, we’ll send out a general e-mail to everyone that submitted information on the album title and the basic concept of the record and from there, it’s all you. Submit a sketch and If we like your artwork and/or idea, you’ll be hired for the gig once we negotiate fair compensation. If you’re a fan and an artist, this is your chance to immortalize your work FOREVER on, what we feel, is our finest release to date.