Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year That Was (and Wasn't)


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.
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.


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!

Jerry / Matt / Mark / Steve


MONDAY, April 28th  - 7:30 PM
(featuring members of Blondie and The Plimsouls!)

The Brixton Riot

121 Brighton Ave,
Long Branch, NJ 07740

$10 (Tickets)