Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Playground Boston Review – Helmet & Intronaut Show 10/20

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Words and photography by Pete Legasey

“[…] RIBS, the only local outfit on the bill, set the table and showed why they’ve been generating so much momentum in recent months.


Formed by Atlanta transplants and longtime pals Keith Freund and Blake Fusilier, RIBS has earned a steady flow of positive reviews and radio play (both terrestrial and webcast) since releasing their debut album British Brains earlier this year. Far from being the dinner-themed band I imagined them to be when I first heard their name, the group’s moody-but-dynamic brand of atmospheric rock has garnered comparisons with Joy Division, Queens of the Stone Age, and Deftones.

RIBS played an ideal opening set for a chilly October night in the middle of the workweek – far from cheery, but hardly a bummer. This was my first time seeing the guys in concert, and the live setting definitely allows for a much bolder contrast between their moments of murky ambiance and frenzied ruckus. It was those latter moments of chaos that stirred the crowd’s blood to an adequate consistency for the blitzkrieg that awaited. Fusilier’s bass was a much more grisly and battle-ravaged creature than anything that roams the album, and Justin Tolan (reportedly a touted shred prospect before joining RIBS) let his chops fly with a goody-bag of arpeggios, resonant speed picking and rain-soaked chord combos.

Intronaut - Photo Credit: Pete Legasey

Although the two bands could not be mistaken for one another, RIBS and Intronaut struck me as an ideal match in retrospect. Like RIBS, Intronaut’s sound is rooted in the post-metal experimentation of bands like Isis. But whereas RIBS’ style is also informed by a mix of (mostly British) alternative and post-rock elements, Intronaut’s deviations take us in a brazenly hellish direction, falling much more in line with Mastodon than Muse….”


Live Review From (Helmet & Intronaut 10/20)

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

“Local up and comer’s RIBS opened the show tonight. They have built a nice following though constant gigging and sharp social media skills and the early turnout was evidence as they had a lot of heads in the room. Less metal and more like an ambient, shoe-gazey rocking version of A PERFECT CIRCLE, they stunned the crowd with their fine performance. They may have put off some fans of the headliners, but they have a lot in common with the mellower parts of INTRONAUT and I liked their guts to stand up there and do their own thing. All of their songs have interesting textural, layered guitar parts that swept and swayed over the crowd. The best song of the set was called “Brains Out”. They have a strong sense of dynamics and humor in their style that I dug a lot. RIBS also put on a very good stage show and I will be watching their career with great interest.”


RIBS supports Helmet & Intronaut in Boston 10.20.10

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

October 20 // 8 PM // 18+ // Cambridge, MA

472 Mass Ave Cambridge, MA

RSVP On  Facebook

Advance Tickets


RIBS: Sonicbids Indie Pick of the Week (INTERVIEW)

Monday, October 4th, 2010


Revenge, obsession, and betrayal are the themes of the music of the band RIBS. The band was formed by two friends with a common love of music in a high school in Atlanta. But soon after moving to Boston and fleshing out the rest of the group, they have taken the city by storm. Darkly energetic and possessing a shifting ambiance, the band has drawn approval in its year of performing for increasingly rabid audiences. We had a chance to talk with Keith Freund (lead vocals/guitars) and Chris Oquist (drums) about their best gig, their success with social media, and where they’re heading to next.

When/How did you first start playing music?

Keith: [Bassist] Blake [Fusilier] played violin when I met him. Then out of nowhere he picked up a bass and informed me that we were starting a band, and that I had better figure out how to play my guitar or else he would be kicking me out of our band. We played with a couple drummers throughout high school, did a couple gigs, but mostly focused on writing songs. Then we moved from Atlanta to Boston and met [guitarist] Justin [Tolan], who had just been featured in Guitar Player magazine as this shred guitar prodigy, so I didn’t think much of it until I heard he was actually into a lot of the stuff I was into at the time like Muse and Radiohead, not metal. That instantly piqued my interest. And Chris was the same way. He came out of the metal scene but was always talking to us about Paul Simon and pop stuff.

What’s the best gig you ever played?

Chris: Newbury Comics invited us to play their flagship store for Record Store Day this year, opening up for Circa Survive. We got to celebrate independent music, support maybe the best indie retailer in the country, and play with a band we look up to all at once. That’s probably been my favorite show so far.

Keith: Yeah, that one was a lot of fun. And it was an interesting contrast since normally we’re in some dark club with bright lights, going on late, but this was a bright, well-lit record store with a bunch of young kids that can’t wait to see Anthony Green a foot away at 4:30 in the afternoon. And all the guys in Circa Survive were humble, laid back dudes. I thought they were roadies until they hopped on stage and the crowd started going crazy.

How has social media affected the way you market/promote your music?

Keith: Social media is a multiplier of all the real-life stuff we do. When we play a good show, everyone can instantly Twitpic it and everyone that follows them can say “Oh wow, I didn’t know RIBS has live piranhas on stage. I’m totally bringing my grandmother to the next show because she loves wildlife” or whatever. And when someone gets a flyer from us, they can scan a QR code on it with their phone, which allows them to listen to us right there and RSVP to the Facebook event.

Chris: It’s like the digital and physical realities are coming together. Combining social media with the support we’ve gotten from local retail and press made British Brains a really successful debut release. It’s pretty crazy that our first album was one of Boston’s biggest releases that week. Things like Reddit have had a lot to do with that.

Keith: Yeah, we have to give a shout out to the Reddit community specifically. Reddit is a “social news aggregator.” Meaning people submit news stories from other sites, then users can “up-vote” the stories they find interesting and “down-vote” the stuff they don’t. After I posted our EP there, it became the top-voted music post of all time. 10,000 people listened to our EP in the first day. It was an unbelievable thing, really. I don’t think so much could have ever happened so quickly for us if this weren’t 2010. Reddit was our Ed Sullivan show.

What’s your prediction for the next big advancement in how we find/listen to/share music?

Chris: I don’t know if there’s one next big thing. Right now there’s this amazing convergence of places where music fans can connect with bands whether its tools for discovering new music, like Pandora, Grooveshark, Jango, or Shazam; ways to connect, like Facebook and Twitter; ways to sell music or tickets like Bandcamp and Eventbrite. That combined with the tidal wave of people who can now blog, post pictures or video online, and share new bands they’re psyched about are where we’re at right now. Finding out how to spin it all together to reach new fans and connect with the people who love your music is a really exciting thing.

Keith: I think from an artist’s perspective, we should all cross our fingers and hope that fans and bigger artists start using Bandcamp to share music instead of Youtube. And Bandcamp is making that prospect tastier and tastier every day by improving their widgets and not overcomplicating things. But I also think the music industry needs to calm down about finding the next big thing. Let’s improve the things we have. Facebook pages are getting really, really close to being amazing. And you’ve got to go where the fans are. If people could buy our music with one click on Facebook the way they can on Bandcamp, without ever leaving the page, I think it’d be unbeatable. I love the idea of Pandora and, but I think what we’re finding now is that for people that aren’t music obsessive, word of mouth is still what people trust above everything else. That, and Grey’s Anatomy.

What’s your next big gig coming up? When/Where?

Chris: October 6th at the Middle East Downstairs in Boston. Pirate!, the Middle East, and Well-Rounded Radio put an event on each month called Rock Shop, where panelists and musicians get together to share ideas about the music business. Keith will be sitting on a panel talking about our experience with Reddit, and we’ll be playing the party afterwards. It should be awesome. We’ll also be opening for Helmet at the Middle East Downstairs on Oct. 20th.

Check out more on RIBS here.

Rock Shop #8: A Social Media Experiment (part of FutureM)

Monday, October 4th, 2010

The Middle East Restaurant & Nightclub has partnered with MITX and FutureM to create an event that is part nightclub and part social media lab, presenting a live performance from some special musical guests and the freedom for social media users to document it as they see fit!

Keith will be speaking on the panel about the band’s experience becoming’s top voted music post of all time. The RIBS live performance begins at 11:35 PM. Learn more and reserve your free ticket at