For long time observers of both this outpost of the internet and the one a few miles back on the information superhighway, today’s beard selection should come as no surprise and might be even considered quite overdue. So it’s with that one of the patron saints of this blog is presented, the periodically bearded Chicago punk rock veteran Brendan Kelly.
Kelly’s prolific career began nearly 20 years ago as the vocalist for the ska-punk Slapstick, whose legacy would end up being the as launching pad for members of the Smoking Popes, Alkaline Trio, and other various projects. From there Kelly would join The Broadways, along with then-and-current bandmate Chris McCaughan, with a far less polished, poly-vocal, politically bent sound, whose two releases still have their song titles shouted in request at the shows of current Kelly projects.
McCaughan and Kelly would go on to form The Lawrence Arms in 1999 with drummer Neil Hennessy, who are finally recording its sixth full length album at present after a seven year gap. While starting out by eschewing traditional song structure and choruses with their first two releases, the band hit their stride with their third release of Apathy & Exhaustion after incorporating a touch of those elements to go along with strong lyrical hooks. Additionally, the band gained a reputation through relentless touring, which allowed the verbose and often drunk Kelly opportunity to harangue crowds with his ramblings rather frequently between songs, all while in varying states of facial hair configuration. But today it’s the bearded Kelly that’s recognized, a true Ramblin’ Boy of Pleasure.