Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year That Was (and Wasn't)

Greetings,

It's been real quiet around here, hasn't it?  Hard to believe we'll be sticking a fork in the year that was 2014 just over 12 hours from now. 

What a strange year it's been for our band. 

On paper, it seems a little underwhelming - a few new songs, a handful of shows and that was pretty much it. 

Behind the scenes, it was anything but boring. 

One of the trickiest parts of being in a band at this stage of life is balance - balancing family, work and the band is always challenging and this year was loaded with curve balls and missteps.  Our philosophy has always been that our family lives come first.  As a result, we didn't get to do all the things we hoped for in 2014.  But we loved the things we did do - Matt playing Clem Burke's kit at the Split Single Show.   Being a part of the Balloon Squad reunion show.  Celebrating Jerry's birthday with a Happy Mondays show at Wonder Bar - where Mark got the gift of his life from some of the greatest people we have the pleasure of knowing.  Ringing in David Wilson's 40's in a small Jersey City bar.  Wrapping it all up with the great guys in Stuyvesant at their record release party a few weeks back was the perfect ending.

We'd love to tell you that 2015 is the year we record the follow-up to Palace Amusements, but that's probably a little ambitious.  We've got a number of songs ready to go and many more that have already been started, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility - but as always, you never know when "life" is going to creep into these schedules.

Rather than judge this year on shows or output, we prefer to judge it on the experiences of the past year - and in that respect, 2014 was a huge year for us.  A big thank you to all who came to our shows, played our songs on the radio, bought our music or enjoyed our band this year.  Your support never goes unrecognized and we can't begin to tell you how much it's appreciated.  
We wish you all a very happy and healthy 2015.  


Warm Regards,
Jerry / Matt / Mark / Steve

Jerry's Favorites of 2014

The good folks over at Speak Into My Good Eye already posted the first half of my list (you can read it here) but I also came up with a follow-up post. I guess one just wasn't enough this year. __ We were treated to a fine year's worth of music in 2014. My tastes tend to lean towards louder guitar-based music, so there isn't much variety beyond that on here.  
SOME OF MY FAVORITE RECORDS OF 2014 (in no particular order)
Bob Mould Beauty & Ruin - He just keeps getting better and better. The Sugar reboot really seemed to light a spark and like Silver Age before it, Beauty & Ruin is all kinds of great. It even might be (ever so slightly) better than its predecessor.

Doug Gillard Parade On - Doug might be the hardest working man in rock, second only to maybe Robert Pollard. And unlike Uncle Bob, he knows what to keep and what to toss. Parade On is a great record through and through.

Stuyvesant Shmyvesant - This hasn't been out a month and it's already one of my favorites of 2014. Great collection of songs from these guys, I can't wait to hear these live.

Wussy Attica - Probably one of the most criminally overlooked bands of the last 10 years, but that seems to be changing. The shared vocals of Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker are always compelling, especially when they take two different sides of a story.

These Estates Triumph, Reign - I hoped that These Estates could fill the void of baritone-fused guitar rock that was left by Bottomless Pit (and Silkworm before them) splitting up this year. Alas, These Estates aren't making anymore new records, but Triumph, Reign and last year's The Dignity of Man are a hell of a swan song.

Miss Ohio Whippoorwill Road - The title track was one of my favorite songs of 2014.

Radiator Hospital Torch Songs Overlake Sighs The Lees Of Memory Sisyphus Says Lake Effect Adolescence EP & Childhood EP Pujol Kludge The Primitives Spin-O-Rama Cloud Nothings Here And Nowhere Else Ex Hex Rips Dentist s/t

FAVORITE LIVE SHOW OF 2014 - The Replacements at Forrest Hills Stadium

I'm going to come right out and tell you that I'm a huge Replacements fan and as such, my assessment of their late September jaunt in Queens will be incredibly biased. It's hard not to swoon when you get to belt out "Bastards of Young" and "Left Of The Dial" with your twin brother and some of your closest friends in the house. I waited 20 years for the chance to see some of my heroes and it's obvious that I wasn't alone in my excitement. A lot has been said about how this isn't a reunion without Bob or Chris or Slim, but when it comes to The Replacements, the songs were always the draw and they still pack 'em in.
FAVORITE MOMENT AT A TBR SHOW
Without a doubt, this had to be at our Brighton Bar show opening for Split Squad. The look of impish glee on Matt Horutz's face when Clem Burke's drum tech asked "would it be cool if you use Clem's kit tonight?" looked like something you would see on Christmas morning. I'm jealous. Maybe one day I'll get to use Elvis Costello's Jazzmaster. Doubt it.

FAVORITE DISPLACED MAXWELL'S REUNION - The Feelies at Asbury Lanes

I don't think there will ever be another place like Maxwell's, but for one night it was alive and well a block from the Asbury Park boardwalk. Just like their July 4th shows, there were no openers and the band took a brief intermission between sets, so it was all Feelies and that's fine by me. The hour plus drive didn't seem to keep the regulars away. There were so many friends and familiar faces in the audience I expected to see the jukebox on the way back from the bathroom. And as far as I know, nobody got towed or booted, so the parking situation was a huge improvement. And I could very easily add seeing Television at The Stone Pony to this list. It's going to be hard to top that next year. Cheers, Jerry TBR

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Show at The Brighton Bar on Monday 4/28 Featuring Members of Blondie & The Plimsouls

Hello Again,

We are pleased to announce that our long winter hiatus is finally coming to an end.

We're thrilled to be back at Long Branch's staple of live music, the one and only Brighton Bar.  This is for a very special mid-week show opening up for The Split Squad (featuring none other then Clem Burke of Blondie and Eddie Munoz of The Plimsouls).



We're beyond psyched for this one and we think it will be a good time.  Or at the very least, you will get to see us make asses of ourselves in front of one of Matt's heroes.  So really, it's $10 well spent either way.

You will also have our deepest respect for coming out on a Monday night and to that end, we will START PLAYING playing by 8 PM.  Don't worry, you will get home nice and early.

Hope to see you there!

Cheers,
Jerry / Matt / Mark / Steve



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MONDAY, April 28th  - 7:30 PM
THE BRIGHTON BAR
OPENING FOR THE SPLIT SQUAD
(featuring members of Blondie and The Plimsouls!)

The Brixton Riot
Acid
THE SPLIT SQUAD

THE BRIGHTON BAR
121 Brighton Ave,
Long Branch, NJ 07740

$10 (Tickets)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hey, it's a Fall update...

Hello All,

We're writing to inform you that an extremely rare occurrence is...well... occurring... We are playing a live show this month. 

In fact, we're playing two...in the same week.


Last year, we had the extreme pleasure of taking part in Dromedary Records excellent Camelfest at Maxwell's.  By all accounts, it was a great time.  This year, they're bringing this great event to our favorite club, Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ.

The best thing about Camelfest is that all of the proceeds go directly to the Roots and Wings Foundation of New Jersey.  This is an important organization that does very special work in our state - specifically, they provide support and services to children who age out of New Jersey's foster system.  We are thrilled to lend our talents (as humble as they may be) to this wonderful cause for a second time. 

This year's Camelfest is also part of Dromedary Records 20th anniversary festivities.  To celebrate this milestone, they will be releasing a compilation album of songs originally released in 1993 and covered by Dromedary bands and other artists, including us.  We'll be revealing our song choice very soon Dromedary has revealed the track listing and you can check it out here.

But wait, there's more...



On Friday, October 25th, we will be rejoining our new Elk friends for RENT PARTY Road Show. This is when the Rent Party crew takes the very popular and well established South Orange events and presents bands at different lodges in the area. 

We've played and attended Rent Party events in the past.  These are some of the best places to catch live music in New Jersey right now.  The bills are always excellent (again, ourselves withstanding) and cohesive.   The sound is good.   There's cheap booze.   They're held in nice areas, unlike some of the unsavory places we've played in the past.  The cover is more than reasonable (and goes directly to fighting hunger in the community).  There's cheap booze.   There's free parking.  And more than anything else, the atmosphere just feels like a big party.  This is likely related to the cheap booze.

We hope you can make it out to one (or both) of these events and help us raise money for some important causes and help us wrap up 2013 as we wind down our show calendar for the year. 

As always, thank you for your support.  We truly appreciate it.

Cheers,
Jerry / Matt / Mark / Steve



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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19TH - 8 PM CAMELFEST 2013 (NIGHT 2)
Asbury Lanes
209 4th Ave
Asbury Park, NJ

Overlake
THE BRIXTON RIOT
The Anderson Council
Stuyvesant

$10 Donation to the Root & Wings Foundation of NJ

FRIDAY, October 25th  - 8 PM RENT PARTY Road Show
Springfield Elks
80 Springfield Ave,
Springfield Township, NJ 07081

The Local 7
The Brixton Riot
The Anderson Council

 $5 Donation at the door to benefit the local food bank



Friday, July 12, 2013

It's A Cruel Summer

Hello,

Hope you've been enjoying your summer.  We know it's been pretty quiet around here, so we thought this might be a good time to fill you in on what's been happening.  . 
 
After a short break, we're getting back to playing shows again, starting with our rescheduled radio session on WRSU's Overnight Sensations.  We'll be joining Geoffery Pape on air to play a few songs and talk for a bit.  The show will air Friday, August 9th at 10:30 PM.  So it's like going to a show but it's free, there's no parking and you don't have to leave the house.  You just have to stay awake until 10:30.  You can do that, right?

In Hurricane Sandy related news, we've got a track coming out on a benefit album next week.  My Hometown: a Tribute to NJ is a collection of songs originally recorded by NJ artists covered by an eclectic mix of indie bands. All proceeds will go to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.  You can pre-order the CD now and you'll be able to download two tracks immediately (The Successful Failures covering Fountains of Wayne and The Paper Jets covering Bruce Springsteen).  The CD will be officially released on Tue. July 23rd on the FDR label.  Our selection was a personal favorite - Yo La Tengo's "Upside Down".  We had a great time recording it with Chris and Peter of The Anderson Council - Peter even contributed the excellent backing vocal on our version, so be sure to give it a listen. 

We have a second song coming out this summer, and once again, it's a favorite from the 90's.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Jersey based micro-indie label Dromedary Records.  To celebrate, they're releasing From ’93 ‘Til Infinity: A Dromedary Records Compilation, a deluxe vinyl double-LP, featuring more than a dozen artists performing cover versions of seminal indie rock songs from the year 1993. Like My Hometown, we're very excited to have contributed a track to this fine collection.  Since the plan is to keep the track listing a secret until the album comes out, we won't reveal what song we contributed, but you might be able to guess.

Before signing off, we wanted to take a minute to talk about Maxwells. 

As you probably already know, Maxwells will be closing its doors forever on July 31st.  We've seen a number of clubs come and go, but this isn't just another club.  Simply stated, Maxwells is the cornerstone of the New Jersey independent music community.  As Ira Kaplan eloquently put it during Yo La Tengo's final Maxwells set, "without this club, this band does not exist".  While Yo La Tengo (and undoubtedly, The Feelies) are inextricably linked to Maxwells, I think a lot of bands and musicians share a similar sentiment.  I remember talking about playing there before we had even played our first show; it was one of our first goals as a band.  We held both of our record release shows at Maxwells because we knew it was always a good time there - as performers, as members of the crowd, as dinner patrons.  As we've mentioned before, we have important history that will always be connected to 1039 Washington Street. 

For all of the great memories, all the shows (and all the free dinners) and for everything you did, we sincerely thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  Thank you Todd Abramson for booking us - the first time and every time.  Thank you Carson and all the other wonderful sound people we've worked with over the years.  Thank you to the hosts and hostesses, waiters and waitresses and all the bartenders, cooks and staff for making it the special place that it truly is.  

Cheers,
Jerry / Matt / Mark / Steve

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

THIS FRIDAY : Rent Party Benefit to Help Fight Hunger In South Orange and Maplewood

Hello Again,

This coming Friday we will be performing at a Rent Party show at the South Orange Elks Lodge. 

If you're unfamiliar with Rent Party, it's a great group of individuals dedicated to fighting hunger in the South Orange and Maplewood NJ communities by hosting local music shows at the South Orange Elks.  The price of entry is an extremely reasonable $5 and that money goes directly towards stocking Rent Party's food pantry for the community.  We will be sharing the stage with Dollar Store Riot (no relation) and Zombies Of The Stratosphere.


We hope you will join us and help feed NJ families. 

FRIDAY, APRIL 12TH - 8 PM
South Orange Elks Lodge
220 Prospect Street
South Orange, NJ

Dollar Store Riot
Zombies Of The Stratosphere
THE BRIXTON RIOT

$5 Minimum Donation

Cheers,
Jerry / Matt / Mark / Steve




Monday, January 28, 2013

6th Anniversary Show @ The Court Tavern (2/9/2013)

Hello,

We're pleased to let you know that a week from this coming Saturday, we will be performing at the Court Tavern.  We're always happy to be at The Court, but this is a date of certain significance for us - it is the 6th anniversary of the first ever TBR show, all the way back on 2/9/2007. 

Even better, we're going to be joined by The Anderson Council for their "home town" CD release party for their great new full length, "Looking At The Stars".  Filling out the bill are Eastern Anchors - who are also supporting a recently released LP, the excellent "Drunken Arts & Pure Science" - and Hoboken's favorite sons, the magnificent Stuyvesant. 


It's only $7 and doors are at 8 PM.  We took the early slot so we'll be up first (we know you need to get home to pay the babysitter).  We also hear that the Court is looking really nice these days, with actual doors on the bathrooms now.  Looking forward to seeing that with our own eyes...

A 6th Anniversary seems like a strange thing to celebrate, but it's been a long and interesting ride to get here.  When the Court closed its doors last year, it seemed incredibly unlikely that we (or anyone) would play there again.  To say we are excited to be celebrating our 6th year together at the site of some of our earliest shows is an understatement.  We hope you will join us for the party.

Saturday, February 9th - 8 PM
COURT TAVERN
The Brixton Riot
The Anderson Council
Eastern Anchors
Stuyvesant

Cheers,
Jerry / Mark / Matt / Steve