That Summer Concert Feeling

That Summer Concert Feeling

Summer Concerts Hoboken - Maxwells

I’m guest blogging for the review stalker while he’s away on vacation.  My summer holiday has consisted of me sending my son off to sleep away camp which gave me the opportunity to see more rock shows since he was born 13 years ago!  The season has offered the usual summer touring from bands from now and then with many noteworthy free shows all over the New York City area.

Many of the nights have been spent reliving several harmonious music memories seeing mostly older acts and hearing songs from my youth.  Over a 6 week period I took in performances from The Zombies, She & Him, Camera Obscura, The Rascals, Leon Russell,Cheap Trick, B.B King, James Hunter Six, New Order, NRBQ,  Bob Dylan, Wilco (w/ special guest Ian Hunter) and a tribute to Big Star.  Combined these acts performed a myriad of unforgettable classic songs including “She’s Not There”, “Sunday Girl’, “People Got To Be Free”, “The Letter”, “September Gurls”, “Delta Lady”, “Surrender”, ‘Blue Monday”, “All The Young Dudes” and so many more.

The Letter from the Big Star Tribute in Central Park on June 30

The Dylan/Wilco show was billed as the AmericanaramA fest and went down on the Hoboken pier on July 26.  That was appropriate since days later and blocks away, the home of American music Maxwell’s was closing their doors.

All The Young Dudes-Wilco w/ Ian Hunter, James Mastro, Warren Haynes & My Morning Jacket on Hoboken Pier on July 26

I was fortunate enough to have had the venue be a big part of my life throughout some of my formative years in the mid-‘80s where I attended more shows there during that period then any other rock club.  I hadn’t had the chance to make it back throughout the month for the final shows so it was imperative that I venture back to Hoboken one last time for the closing festivities on July 31.

The celebration started off with a block party that had 11 street closed off with beer and food stands. Raucous party tunes blared throughout the street as various DJs from the club’s 30 plus years (Guy Ewald, Charles Charas, Gaylord Fields, Vince Brnicevic, Billy Miller, Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan) took turns spinning records while the crowd built up throughout the evening to pay their respects to the club. Hundreds of people were packed into the bar spilling onto the street.  Both the Individuals and the Bongos were booked to close the back room.  I was lucky enough to pick up tickets for the earlier set from the Individuals.  The band was in fine form and had a blast playing as one of the final bands on the Maxwell’s stage.  They brilliantly recreated the sound of the early ‘80s NYC rock club scene.  I stood there and realized, this is the sound that’s categorized as post-punk.  I flash backed to watching bands in that same room and other NYC area clubs in the ‘80s.   I realized after seeing so many remarkable bands, hearing various legendary songs and reliving magical music moments over this summer season this tiny back room of a bar/restaurant was where so much of ’80s music was born influencing me and so many others.

It reminded me that there were so many punk and new wave spin-offs incubated and championed at Maxwell’s.  Alt-country, grunge, power pop, roots rock, college rock, garage, paisley underground, shoe gazing and the most peculiar named genre, indie rock were all heralded there.  That ubiquitous tag came from the countless acts that recorded for scores of independent record companies.  Twin Tone, SST, Slash, Homestead, Enigma, Dolphin, Frontier, K Records, Ace of Hearts and Hoboken’s own Coyote and Bar/None were just some of the bigger players in the growing soon to be coined “alternative” music business.

Adding to the sounds and styles were cities and towns the labels and music originated from.  Musicians arrived from all over the USA.  They piled in vans and drove miles to play at the club.  Some performed at Maxwell’s numerous times over several years.  They traveled from Los Angeles, Portland, Minneapolis, Athens, Boston, Seattle, Chapel Hill and many other American regions.  The list of acts I’d seen (or heard from the front bar!) is endless and in no particular order.

The Replacements, The dbs, Husker Du, X, Alex Chilton, Meat Puppets, Long Ryders, Pylon, Dreams So Real, Tommy Keene, Young Fresh Fellows, Redd Kross, Gun Club, The Three O Clock, Jason and the Scorchers, The Dream Syndicate. Dumptruck, Miracle Legion, Del Fuegos, EIEIO, Soul Asylum, The Chesterfield Kings, Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper, Game Theory, Let’s Active, The Neats, Ben Vaughn Combo, Leaving Trains, Guadalcanal Diary. The Minutemen, Rain Parade, Green on Red, The Wipers, Daniel Johnston, Camper Van Beethoven, The Bodeans, 10,000 Maniacs, Beat Happening, Rank and File, The Lyres, Dinosaur Jr, Galaxie 500, The Morrells, True Believers, Fetchin’ Bones, Big Black, Southern Culture On The Skids, House of Freaks, Naked Raygun, Salem 66, Big Dipper, The Dead Milkmen, The Dogmatics, Swimming Pool Qs, Drivin’ N Cryin’, Green River, The Flies, Pontiac Brothers, Giant Sand, Scruffy The Cat and many others.

Some bands traveled from overseas: Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians, The Go-Betweens, Hoodoo Gurus, The Lime Spiders, The Fall, The Mekons to name a few.

And then there were those from the NY/NJ metro area that kept the venue thriving as opening acts for many out of town bands or headlining the club and packing it with their family, friends and fans:

Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, The Feelies, Mofungo, Syd Straw, The Nightmares, The Raunch Hands, The Wygals, The Clintons, Pianosaurus, Laura Cantrell, The Scene is Now, Deep Six, The Last Round Up, World Famous Blue Jays, Beat Rodeo, Gutbank, The Vacant Lot, Fleshtones, Das Damen  Del-Lords, Hugo Largo,  The Raybeats, The Golden Palominos, Phantom Tollbooth, The A-Bones, Crazy Sunday, Chris Stamey Group, Soul Attack, The Ambivalent Brothers, House of Usher, Leap of Faith, Fish & Roses, Winter Hours were just some of the local names that kept the scene and spirit alive.

There isn’t one room in the NY metro area that could boast all of these accomplishments showcasing quality music with integrity for over three decades.

It was a space and a moment in time that will never be recreated.  I feel lucky to have been there when both the club and I were coming of age.  It’s bittersweet that Maxwell’s is gone but its legacy will continue to live on through the music and the influence it had on a vast group of music fans that sometimes fit into a small room with a legal capacity of 200 people.

VIA NJ.COMClosing song at Maxwells-Thank You Friends (Big Star) with the Bongos and friends

Wilco covering “Color Me Impressed” w/ Tommy Stinson

It does not get much more rock-n-roll than this. Here’s Jeff Tweedy just being a lead singer guy while Tommy Stinson from the temporarily reformed Replacements playing “Color Me Impressed” on guitar. This is at some festival in Mass we think. Looks fun. This is the rocking wilco we like.

For more up to date shit like this facehookers stalk us over there.


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Love Stinks – Hated and Beloved Valentines Day Songs

Love Stinks – Hated and Beloved Valentines Day Songs

“I got you Babe” by Sonny & Cher and “Nothing Compares to you” by Sinead O’connor are a couple of those songs I can’t stand sometimes but we all can admit love stinks right sometimes? Mostly because it’s so hard to explain as we go and as the explanation gets fuzzier and fuzzier and we turn into some stale marshmallow on the couch. Love’s meaning changes as you go through different stages of life too but one thing is for sure; there are songs that strike a note in our blackened caverns and makes us all light headed as if we just got the wind knocked out of us. How many ways can I break your heart? Here’s a 13 pack of some of the most “hated” and beloved Valentine’s Day songs. You probably have yours but here’s some of mine.

You might be fans of this kind of love or unlove:
13) True Love Will Find You In The End MP3 Daniel Johnston from 1990. [Buy] Also covered by that poser Beck
12) Fists Of LoveBig Black from Atomizer [Buy]
11) Ever Fallen In Love_ MP3 Buzzcocks taken from Singles Going Steady. [Buy]
10) I’m Not In Love from The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads MP3 Live (1978) The guitar playing on this is awesome. [Buy]
09) I Am Trying To Break Your Heart MP3 by Wilco Live at Troutdale (2007) [Buy some Wilco]

One of the saddest fucking love songs:
08) I will follow you into the Dark MP3 by Death Cab For Cutie from PLANS

Some classic and eclectic Love Songs:
07) Love Stinks MP3 by The J Geils Band (1980) [Buy]
06) To Love Somebody MP3 by Nina Simone w/ a little intro by Joe Strummer from the Future is Unwritten soundtrack [Buy some Nina]
05) Will You Love Me Tomorrow MP3 by The Zombies doing Carole King and Gerry Goffin song Live At BBC 1965-1968.
04) Love Is For Lovers MP3 by The DB’s originally from the 1982 record Like This. Taken from the Poptopia! Power Pop Classics of 1980’s Compilation.
03) I Don’t Love Nobody MP3 performed by Jerry Lee Lewis -Originally written by Roy Brown. This is from the Sun Rockabilly Meltdown comp I high recommend compilation.
02) Between Two Sheets MP3 by Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns taken from the Mojo compilation James Brown’s Funky Summer

She & Him – Don’t Look Back from Merge Records on Vimeo. Love, love actress Zooey Deschanel from She & Him.

01) My all time favorite love song is Roky Erickson’sYou Don’t Love Me Yet” MP3 performed by Bongwater. Check out one of the 7″ Friday posts where we go in deep on this magnificent NYC band.

You don't Love me yet

00) Here’s the original psychedelic version by Roky You Don’t Love Me Yet MP3 from You’re Gonna Miss Me: Original Soundtrack. I think the song was originally released in the UK in 1988 as a 12″ by Roky Erickson & Evilhook Wildlife (ET) and also a single on Fundamental Records Pray 7.

Whatever happend I Apologize – Jay Bennett

Whatever happend I Apologize – Jay Bennett

Is there such a thing as the 5th Beatle? The guy who you have in your creative circle and gotten into arguments as documented in the film I Am Trying To Break Your Heart? This is Jay Benett (RIP 1963-2009) or at least how most of us will remember him as the creative muse and friend of Jeff Tweedy. Welcome to your acoustic singer songwriter overdose and posts of some really great stories. It does not really matter how he went but one of many cautionary tales of loss and we can talk and talk about it or just listen and have a few.

Grab a zip of Whatever Happened, I Apologize from Chrome Waves
Heather from fuel friends offers up a video and a couple mp3s with Jay playing with Jeff

Tank Boy remembers running into Jay and shares his story
Ohm Park posted a whole live show Jeff Tweedy w/ Jay Bennett from 11-20-1996.
Chicago Sun Times Jim Derogatis following the Obit.
Good Jay Bennett interview on My Old Kentucky Blog from December 2008

Here are some selects:
Jay Bennett – The Engines are Idle
Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett on Banjo – We’ve Been Had – from the Cost What? Bootleg
Venus Stop this Train – Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot demo – Jay on Piano

The bestof the mp3 blogger world lives – rbally

The bestof the mp3 blogger world lives – rbally

Yes, minor excitment for us laxy mp3 bloggers. rbally has resurfaced this winter with some awesome bootleg posts from Ryan Adams (which is as abundant as air but whatever), The Replacements at CBGB’s from October 12, 1984; Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks at Crystal Ballroom, June 17, 2005; Radiohead – In Berlin from 2000, Sonic Youth – Teatro Tenda Strisce, Roma, Italia,and Wilco at Troutdale, Oregon, in the USA (August 22, 2007). Lets see if Matador leaves him alone. Start your mp3 downloading as rbally has enabled us once again.