Tag Archives: East of Venus

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

Advertisements

The Box Tops take it to the streets

hobokenfest1

Washington Street is packed for the Arts and Music Festival.

Alex Chilton and The Box Tops are bringing The Letter and all the rest of their enduring rock hits to Hoboken next Sunday (May 3) for  the Spring Arts and Music Festival along the Mile Square City’s main drag, Washington Street.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

While The Box Tops will headline, members of The Feelies will represent the Hoboken scene by contributing their signature sound in three supporting bands: Wild Carnation (Feelies bassist Brenda Sauter‘s longtime band), Yung Wu (Feelies percussionist Dave Weckerman‘s recently reunited side project, which also features Feelies founder Glenn Mercer) and East of Venus (a Hoboken super group featuring Feelies members Mercer and Stanley DemeskiBongos bassist Rob Norris, and Michael Carlucci of Winter Hours).

East of Venus features Glenn Mercer, Stanley Demeski, Michael Carlucci and Rob Norris.

East of Venus features Glenn Mercer, Stanley Demeski, Michael Carlucci and Rob Norris.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and offers three stages with more than  300 acts for all ages. It also features the usual street fair attractions (or annoyances, if you’re just there for the music). But it’s a cool town and should be a great day. Here’s a slightly goofy video clip from last year’s festival:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Keep in mind that Hoboken is not hard to get to, but parking is brutal under normal circumstances. On festival days, especially if the weather is good, parking is nearly impossible. So take public transportation (PATH or NJTranst) if at all possible. You won’t have trouble getting around on foot. And you’ll thank me for persuading you to leave your car at home.

Here’s the tentative schedule. Enjoy!

Live Performances on 3 stages!

(schedules are tentative and subject to change)

Observer Highway Stage
(located on Washington St. bet. Newark & Observer Hwy)
12:00pm – Mad Happy
1:00pm – Yung Wu
1:30pm – Wild Carnation
2:00pm – East of Venus
3:00pm – Val Emmich
4:30pm – The Boxtops – with Alex Chilton

Sixth Street Stage
12:30pm – Bandwidth
1;15pm – The Verdict
2:15pm – 2nd Fiddles
3:15pm – Clueless
4:15pm – Joe Taino
5:15pm – TBA

Kidz Stage
(Third Street)
11:15am – Hanna Valente
12:00pm – Polka Dot Pals
1:00pm – A Year with Frog & Toad* – production by The Theatre Company @ DeBaun an affiliate of DeBaun Auditorium –
2:00pm – Bonnie Bess the Piratehttp://www.after3theatre.org
3:00pm – Polka Dot Pals
4:00pm – A Year with Frog & Toad*
5:00pm – Polka Dot Pals

*A Year with Frog & Toad: Interactive excerpts from The Theater Company’s production of “A Year with Frog & Toad”. Arnold Lobel’s well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in Robert and Willie Reale’s musical, which follows two great friends, the cheerful and popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad through four fun-filled seasons. Performed by an adult cast of 5 playing over 15 different characters. www.debaun.org