Tag Archives: Hoboken

A foretaste of New Jersey rock without Maxwell’s: Speed the Plough, East of Venus play Mexicali Live

Speed the Plough performs at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, N.J. on July 18, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

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)

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

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Mission of Burma shows added in Maxwell’s final days

Mission of Burma at The Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

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.

20130719-123546.jpgWhile 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)

Maxwell’s adds Bern & The Brights, Val Emmich to final schedule

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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 joins Bar/None’s July 24 farewell to Maxwell’s

Speed the Plough at Maxwell's on Oct. 20, 2012. (Photo © 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

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.

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Maxwell’s bowing out with a block party; many details still to be revealed

Patrons enter Maxwell's at 11th and Washington streets in Hoboken, on July 5, 2013, (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Maxwell’s at 11th and Washington streets in Hoboken, is planning a farewell block party on July 31. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

NJ.com
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
event?

Continue reading

Jon Langford and a Maxwell’s memory lapse

The Jon Langford Threesome, from left, at Maxwell's: Tony Maimone, Steve Goulding, Jon Langford. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

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 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)

The crowd gathers in the back room at Maxwell’s for the Jon Langford Threesome. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

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Saying goodbye to Maxwell’s: Share your ideas for the final show

Patrons enter Maxwell's at 11th and Washington streets in Hoboken, N.J., on July 5, 2013, (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Patrons enter Maxwell’s at 11th and Washington streets in Hoboken, N.J., on July 5, 2013, (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

We’ve been thinking a lot about closing night at Maxwell’s, the well-loved Hoboken, N.J., music club that hosts its last show on July 31.

There’s a selfish motive, in part, of course: How can WE get to be there. Surely with all the bands and fans that have passed through the Washington Street club over the last 35 years there will be far, far more people trying to get in than the small (capacity 200) venue can possibly hold. With closing a bit over three weeks away, Todd Abramson, the club’s booker and co-owner, is working on a plan.

Todd Abramson with the New York Post's Mary Huhn in Austin in 2003.

Todd Abramson with the New York Post’s Mary Huhn at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, in 2003.

But, as he told us by phone this morning, “there’s no news here” just yet. He definitely has some ideas about ways to make it accessible to more people and to level the playing field for those who want to be there. But he says he still has a lot to work out.

What we know is that “a,” the first band to play Maxwell’s, is supposed to reunite for the farewell show. And The Bongos, the much better-known band that grew out of “a,” will also be on the bill. But after that, just about everything is pure speculation.

Since things are in flux, you have a chance to weigh in with ideas of your own.

How should the final show be handled? Should it run all day. Should it be free on a first-come, first-served basis, a normal Maxwell’s price ($15-$25 from TicketFly) or should it be premium priced, a la Neil Young at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., where’s the best seats are tabbed at $285? (Then again, when speaking of Maxwell’s, there are no SEATS, really.)

What about timing? July 31 is a weekday. Should the show start at 9 and go all night? Or should it start in the early afternoon and go on and on?

Who else — band, solo artist, influential individual or fan — be a part of the show in some way?

Don’t just tell us who or what. Tell us why — make a case for your idea. There should be a good reason for every eulogy and every participant in the farewell proceedings.

The sky’s the limit. Share you ideas in the comments section. Get a conversation going. Have fun thinking of the wildest ways possible to pay tribute to Maxwell’s incredible legacy.

Meanwhile, The Bongos promise details of some sort about the show on their Facebook page soon. And keep an eye on Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? We’ll be sure to let you know of any developments as soon as we can dig them up.

Os Mutantes played a Maxwell’s farewell show five days after appearing at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival

The inimitable Sérgio Dias is the founding member who has kept Os Mutantes alive all these years. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

The inimitable Sérgio Dias is the founding member who has kept Os Mutantes alive all these years. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

We’re definitely old enough to have experienced Brazilian rock band Os Mutantes in its first incarnation in the mid-Sixties.

But timing isn’t really everything.

We grew up in a household where listening to rock ‘n roll (aka The Devil’s Music) was, shall we say, not encouraged. And we lived in a community outside of Philadelphia where conformity ruled. And being 11, or so when Os Mutantes started making music, we were at a tender age where that type of pressure was pretty effective in keeping us in line.

Sérgio Dias plays sitar at Maxwell's, Hoboken, N.J., on June 28, 2013.

Sérgio Dias shows off his sitar skills.

On top of everything else, Brazil might as well have been the other side of the moon.

So, all in all, it’s no surprise that we didn’t know anything at all about Os Mutantes — founded by brothers Arnaldo Baptista on bass, keyboards and vocals and Sérgio Dias Baptista on guitar and vocals — until the psychedelic band started its Second Act when it reunited in 2006.

We’re sorry we missed the band’s First Act, but we were hardly alone among American music fans. And we’re thrilled we didn’t miss the Second Act.

Singer Esmeria Bulgari with Sérgio Dias of Os Mutantes at Maxwell's. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Singer Esmeria Bulgari with Sérgio Dias of Os Mutantes at Maxwell’s.

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The Feelies’ final Fourth of July at Maxwell’s

Maxwell's in the dim light on Independence Day 2013. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Maxwell’s in the dim light on Independence Day 2013. (Photos © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

It’s always a tough, emotional thing to get to Maxwell’s in Hoboken, N.J.,  for The Feelies‘ annual Fourth of July show. You’re fighting for access to the Mile Square City with thousands trying to get to the waterfront to watch the Macy’s fireworks show in Manhattan.

But the Fourth of July 2013 was particularly tough, even with showtime pushed back to the throwback hour of 10 p.m. (Remember when rock shows didn’t really get started until nighttime had really settled in?)

It was the very last Independence Day that The Feelies would be playing the venerated Maxwell’s music club.

For fans and newbies alike, the night — the first of the band’s three-day holiday stand — was a touching one.

Glenn Mercer, Bill Million and Brenda Sauter onstage at Maxwell's on July 4.

Glenn Mercer, Bill Million and Brenda Sauter onstage at Maxwell’s on July 4.

For their part, members of the band — Glenn Mercer on guitar, Bill Million on guitar, Brenda Sauter on bass, Stan Demeski on drums and Dave Weckerman on percussion — didn’t get maudlin and sentimental. They just did what they always do, playing a solid, well-planned set of crowd favorites, mixing their own turns — the older, nervous one and the new, slightly more melodic numbers — with a bunch of rock covers that they’ve added to their bag of tricks over the years.

They brought up a longtime friend and associate, John Baumgartner (of The Trypes and Speed the Plough, and also involved in a graphics business with sister Janice Demeski), to join them on “Bluer Skies” early in the evening.

They ended with three encores, featuring a surprise guest in the first set: Glenn Morrow, a longtime partner in Hoboken’s Bar/None Records and a member of Hoboken heyday bands like The Individuals, Rage to Live, and A, the band that later morphed, without Morrow, into The Bongos. Morrow joined The Feelies for The Monkees hit “I’m a Believer” and the Feelies favorite Beatles track, “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey,” to cement the simian theme.

There were no surprises. But that’s not what Feelies fans want at the band’s shows. They want the satisfaction of a rock-solid set of favorites old and new. And that’s what they get.

And that’s a better tribute to the soon-to-be-gone club than a bucket of salty tears and maudlin speeches could ever be.

Click through to the jump for more photos. Continue reading

Singer-songwriter Jamie Block shows he gets the rhythm of Rockland County life with Whitecaps on the Hudson

Jamie Block

Jamie Block

With the new album officially out, the long-MIA anti-folk artist is performing again, too

Nothing about Jamie Block suggests he’s a man of few words — just a man who doesn’t waste words.

For years, it even showed in his performance identity: Block. Not Jamie Block, just Block, thank you very much.

Jamie Block's new Whitecaps on the Hudson

Jamie Block’s new Whitecaps on the Hudson

It seems that he was saving the words for his songs, which on his latest (and long-overdue) album, Whitecaps on the Hudson, are perfectly crafted stories of a man whose life has had some twists and turns.

It’s a memorable work that reminds us why the music world has been much poorer during Block’s overlong absence.

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