Yo La Tengo: Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, James McNew (Photo by Carlie Armstrong)
You can never be sure which Yo La Tengo you’ll see when you go to a show.
The cult-favorite indie rock band is a chameleonic act whose sound can careen from gentle, rhythmic folk rock to noisy guitar freakout to cover-band-style garage rock and back again — sometimes all in the same set.
YLT co-founder Ira Kaplan sat down with me the other day for an interview in advance of the band’s shows at The Town Hall in Manhattan this week — on Wednesday, with Antietam opening, and Thursday with The Feelies.) Tickets to the shows are $32.50 and $42.50, plus fees, and are available by going here to visit Ticketmaster.
We covered a wide range of topics, and Kaplan even dropped a surprising hint about the band’s unique Hannukah shows (eight shows, with multiple guests, over the eight nights of the Festival of Lights) that seemed to come to a screeching halt when Maxwell’s, the revered Hoboken, N.J., rock club that hosted them for more than a decade, closed in 2013.
Read the full interview online now by going here now, or see it in all its print glory by picking up a copy of The Journal News on Tuesday.
Posted in Interview, Music, Pop and Rock, Recordings
Tagged Antietam, Extra Painful, Hanukkah, Hoboken, Maxwell's, Painful, The Feelies, The Town Hall, Yo La Tengo
Speed the Plough performs at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, N.J. on July 18, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)
We know what it’s going to be like without Maxwell’s. We learned it pretty clearly at Mexcali Live in Teaneck, N.J., on Thursday, July 18.
Speed the Plough, a very Maxwell’s-identified band, ripped through an excellent headlining set after warmups by Lianne Smith and East of Venus.
Toni (Paruta) Baumgartner and Cindi Merklee of Speed the Plough. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)
Nobody in the audience crowded the edge of the stage, which is tradition at Maxwell’s. Not there’s anything wrong with that. It just seemed a little alien. But you had the distinct feeling that if you tried to stand in front of the stage, you’d be shouted away by the audience or escorted away by management. So it seemed better to keep a bit of distance.
Only one person in the crowd stood near the front of a rather cavernous room filled with tables, chairs and stools — and he was far, far from his usual front-and-center spot.
Never mind that the sound at Mexicali is crisp and the raised stage provides sight lines that are, to say the least, more audience-friendly than Maxwell’s. Continue reading
Posted in Concerts, Music, Pop and Rock, Review
Tagged Cindi Merklee, Dan Francia, East of Venus, Ed Seifert, Glenn Mercer, Hoboken, John Baumgartner, John Demeski, Lianne Smith, Marc Francia, Maxwell's, Mexicali Live, Michael Carlucci, Mike Baumgartner, New Jersey, Rob Norris, rock, Speed the Plough, Stan Demeski, Teaneck, The Bongos, The Feelies, The Moody Blues, Toni Baumgartner, Toni Paruta, Winter Hours, Yo La Tengo
Mission of Burma at The Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)
UPDATE: second, Early show added; ticket links on the jump
Seminal Boston post-punk band Mission of Burma is a late addition to the schedule of shows during the final days of Maxwell’s in Hoboken.
MoB, which comprises founding members Roger Miller, Clint Conley and Peter Prescott, plus Bob Weston who long ago replaced original tape manipulator/sound engineer Martin Swope, has been added in two time slots — 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. — on Sunday, July 28, just days before the club’s last show on July 31.
While bands from Sonic Youth to R.E.M. have cited Mission of Burma as an influence, the band’s strongest Maxwell’s connection is with Yo La Tengo. But don’t expect to see YLT’s Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley or James McNew in the crowd or onstage for this one. YLT is playing the Fuji Rock Festival in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, that day.
With a little luck, they’ll be back to New Jersey in time to take part in Maxwell’s closing ceremonies.
Tickets for the 6 p.m. early show (doors at 5 p.m.) are $25 and available by clicking or tapping here. (http://ticketf.ly/18vaHSl)
Tickets for the 9 p.m. late show (doors at 8 p.m.), also $25, are available by clicking or tapping here. (http://ticketf.ly/12P2zYl)
Posted in Concerts, Music, News, Pop and Rock
Tagged Bob Weston, Clint Conley, closing, early show, farewell, Fuji Rock Festival, Hoboken, Japan, July 28, late show, Maxwell's, Mission of Burma, New Jersey, Niigata Prefecture, Peter Prescott, Roger Miller, ticketfly.com, tickets, Todd Abramson, Yo La Tengo
Bern and The Brights and Val Emmich are the latest acts to join the schedule in Maxwell’s final days.
They’re playing Monday, July 29.
Bern & The Brights is a Montclair-based nerd-rock trio made up of Bernadette Malavarca, Catherine McGowan and Shawn Fafara. It’s a independent band that Tris McCall of The Star-Ledger recently called “the sort of act that is likely to be hurt by the closing” of Maxwell’s.
You may know Emmich best from his acting on “30 Rock” or “Ugly Betty.” But he’s also a Manalapan, N.J., native who has had an extensive career as a singer-songwriter.
For more information about the acts, click or tap here (http://ticketf.ly/12LqzXz).
Click or tap here (http://ticketf.ly/1bpawrN) for tickets. which are $10. Door time is 8 p.m., with the music scheduled to start at 8:30.
Speed the Plough at Maxwell’s on Oct. 20, 2012. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)
STP is part of a promised ‘cavalcade of mystery stars’ joining Headliners Freedy Johnston and Band, James Mastro’s Health & Happiness Show and Chris Stamey with Anton Fier and Gene Holder
Myrna and the Hangar Boys (Human Switchboard’s Myrna Marcarian, Jared Michael Nickerson, Dave Schramm and Ron Metz) join lineup
WFMU to broadcast live from the lounge
Even before Maxwell’s closing was announced, Speed the Plough was gearing up get active again. The band, which can trace its lineage back to The Feelies through The Trypes, became active in 2009 after a long hiatus, but has been picking up steam lately in anticipation of a new album — a compilation of some of its long-out-of-print music from the early days plus six brand-new tracks.
But now they’re preparing to say goodbye to the venerated Hoboken club with one last gig there, on Thursday, July 24, as part of a Bar/None record label lineup.
Posted in Concerts, Folk, Music, News, Pop and Rock, Recordings, RIP
Tagged Anton Fier, Bar/None, Brenda Sauter, Chris Stamey, Cindi Merklee, Dave Schramm, East Side Digital, Ed Seifert, Evan Davies, Folks & Fondue, Freedy Johnston, Gene Holder, Glenn Mercer, Golden Palominos, Guitar Bar, Health & Happiness Show, Hoboken, Human Switchboard, Jared Michael Nickerson, John Baumgartner, John Demeski, Jon Langford, July 24, Lianne Smith, Marc Francia, Maxwell's, Mexicali Live, Michael Carlucci, Mike Baumgartner, Myrna and the Hangar Boys, Myrna Marcarian, Rich Barnes, Rob Norris, Ron Metz, Speed the Plough, Stan Demeski, Stanley Demeski, Steve Wynn, Steve Wynn & the Miracle 2, Teaneck, The Bongos, The dB's, The Feelies, The Plough & The Stars, The Trypes, Toni Baumgartner, Toni Paruta, Tunes, WFMU, Winter Hours
Maxwell’s at 11th and Washington streets in Hoboken, is planning a farewell block party on July 31. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)
is reporting that Maxwell’s, the restaurant and music
club in Hoboken, N.J., will make its farewell with a block party on
11th Street at Washington Street on July 31. It’s clearly an effort
by longtime booker and co-owner Todd
Abramson to make the 200-capacity club accessible to
the masses of people who will want to be a part of the venerated
venue’s last day. But a block party with DJ music as its final
Posted in Music, News, Pop and Rock, Punk, RIP
Tagged A, Charles Hack, Hoboken, NJ.com, The Bongos, The Individuals, The Jersey Journal, Todd Abramson
The Jon Langford Threesome, from left, at Maxwell’s: Tony Maimone, Steve Goulding, Jon Langford. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)
Jon Langford looked truly puzzled on the stage of Maxwell’s.
The Jon Langford Threesome’s set list at Maxwell’s. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)
The Welsh-born rocker has played at the Hoboken, N.J., club many times — “37 1/2… the half because tonight’s not done yet” — over the years in many bands, from the Mekons to the Three Johns.
On Tuesday, July 9, his show was billed as “Jon Langford’s Threesome feat. Tony Maimone and Steve Goulding performing Mekons, Waco Bros. and Jon Langford songs from throughout the centuries
“Did the Waco Brothers ever play here,” he asked, during a portion of the set where his cranked out several of that band’s best-loved tunes.
“Three times!” came the cry from the crowd.
The crowd gathers in the back room at Maxwell’s for the Jon Langford Threesome. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)
Posted in Art, Blues, Country, Music, News, Pop and Rock, Review, RIP
Tagged Bloodshot Records, Chicago, Chuck Death, Dad Rock, Dennis and Lois, El Vez, Fred Armisen, God Save The King: 25 Years Of El Vez, Hoboken, Jeff Tweedy, Jon Langford, Maxwell's, Mekons, painting, Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Sally Timms, Ship and Pilot, Steve Goulding, The Three Johns, Tony Maimone, Waco Brothers, Wilco