Tag Archives: Wild Carnation

Rock out at Maxwell’s while you help young adults adapt to life after foster care

If you can’t picture yourself at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, N.J., at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, it’s time to make an exception.

Tomorrow, Aug. 13, that’s exactly where you should be. If you’re there, you’ll be helping young adults who have aged out of New Jersey’s foster-care system through the Roots & Wings foundation and listening to four great bands in the process: Speed the Plough, Yung Wu (a side project of Feelies percussionist Dave Weckerman), Wild Carnation (which includes Feelies bassist Brenda Sauter) and Charlotte Sometimes.

Of course this is just one of three shows, featuring 12 bands, being staged at the legendary Hoboken club this weekend as part of CamelFest 2011 in support of Roots & Wings. It’s sponsored by Great Meadows, N.J., -based Dromedary Records.

Photo by Katie Demeski

Speed the Plough (Photo by Katie Demeski)

Tonight’s show’s, which starts at 8, features Richard Barone, Robbers on High Street, Readymade Breakup and The Mommyheads. Tomorrow night, also at 8, it’s The 65’s, The Library is on Fire, Varsity Drag and Stuyvesant.

Tickets are $10 per show. They’re available online (click here for tonight, tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night) and at the door.

Jersey Fresh: Speed the Plough, Wild Carnation and The Thousand Pities

Photo by Katie Demeski

Speed the Plough (Photo by Katie Demeski)

It’s a great weekend for New Jersey rock and roll. In one fell swoop, three Jersey bands, all with links to The Feelies, are performing on a joint bill in NYC tonight and New Jersey tomorrow.

Shine is due out Aug. 16

Speed the Plough is using the shows to preview the sounds of its wonderful new album, Shine, which as Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? has been telling you, is due out on Aug. 16. STP is a real family affair, fronted as it is by the husband-and-wife team of Toni and John Baumgartner and includes their son, Mike and STP co-founder Marc Francia and his sons Ian and Dan. New member Ed Seifert, another fixture on the New Jersey music scene,  is the only person in the band who, as far as we know, isn’t related to anyone else in STP.

 You can get a sample of the warm, rhythmic and familiar sounds of STP’s new work with the first single, “Something to Say,” which is streaming on the band website and on the Dromedary Records site.

STP is inextricably linked to The Feelies, in part through former member Brenda Sauter, who’s the longtime Feelies bass player and also a member of Wild Carnation, another band on this weekend’s bill.  STP grew out of the ashes of another legendary band, The Trypes, which also included Feelies members.

Wild Carnation bills itself as “the best Feelies spin-off band you never heard of,” is also on the bill, along with Montclair’s The Thousand Pities — which includes Michael Carlucci, who plays with Feelies singer Glenn Mercer.

Shows are 8 p.m. today (Friday, July 29) at at Piano’s, 158 Ludlow Street, in Manhattan’s Lower East Side ($10, tickets available here), and tomorrow (Saturday, July 30) at 8:30 pm tomorrow at Tierney’s, 138 Valley Road, Montclair, N.J. (No price announced.)

It’s harvest time for Speed the Plough — and The Trypes, too

Speed the Plough: John Baumgartner, Dan Francia, Ian Francia, Michael Baumgartner, Marc Francia and Toni Baumgartner.

There are some big doings at Speed the Plough HQ. The latest incarnation of the band, a part of network of bands linked to The Feelies, has announced a deal for their new CD.

They’ve signed with Great Meadows, N.J, -based Dromedary Records, which will issue the band’s new disc, Shine, in August.  The lineup for the new album will feature the great guitar and vocal work of new Plough-man Ed Seifert (of Ed Seifert and the Stimulus Package, though you may also recognize Ed as The Feelies’ tech) and guest appearances by two former STPers and current members of Wild Carnation, Brenda Sauter (who’s also in The Feelies) and Rich Barnes.

What’s more, a compilation of tunes from The Trypes, another part of The Feelies’ family, is also nearing completion.

Click through to the jump for the full announcement. And be sure to check out the Speed the Plough website for updates. Continue reading

The Feelies on the Fourth

Glenn Mercer, Stanley Demeski and Bill Million of The Feelies at Maxwell's on July 4, 2009. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Glenn Mercer, Stanley Demeski and Bill Million of The Feelies at Maxwell's on July 4, 2009. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

It would be easy to get used to making a tradition out of celebrating the Fourth of July with The Feelies.

Although their long-awaited comeback started at Maxwell’s in Hoboken

Bill Million and bassist Brenda Sauter.

Bill Million and bassist Brenda Sauter.

on June 30-July 2,  2008 (and those shows thrilled me) , they announced their return in a big way  two days later, opening for Sonic Youth in NYC’s Battery Park on the Fourth of July. The sun, sweat, humidity and the huge crowd just made the experience more intense. The band did not disappoint.

Percussionist Dave Weckerman seems content to stay in the background.

Percussionist Dave Weckerman seems content to stay in the background.

As you’ve probably read here earlier, The Feelies took over Maxwell’s for three nights this month, from July 2-4.

On that last night, thousands crammed the streets and waterfront of Hoboken to see the Macy’s fireworks, while dozens of true believers ignored the holiday hoopla and chose to watch the guitar pyrotechnics of Glenn Mercer and Bill Million instead.

I didn’t mind missing the fireworks outside, not at all.

Glenn Mercer

Glenn Mercer

The Feelies are a band that doesn’t offer too many surprises. Their shows are like your favorite jeans, well-worn, broken in  and perfectly comfortable. They feel good — and just right. They don’t throw many curve balls — even the multiple covers they did as encores over the three nights had little variation from night to night. But none of that matters to a true Feelies fan. In fact, curve balls might ruin the equilibrium.

At the July 4 show, I was positioned very close to the stage. That made for clearer shots of individual band members or pairings of players, but didn’t give me a chance to shoot an overview. So this will give you a very different perspective than the previous night’s shots.

Rich Barnes of Wild Carnation (and Brenda's husband) helped out on keyboard.

Rich Barnes of Wild Carnation (and Brenda's husband) helped out on keyboard.

My position made it tough to spot local heroes in the audience. But at the end of the night, I spotted Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo returning to the music room as the majority of the crowd was filing out. You can always count on them being at a Feelies show. The only other face I wish had been in the crowd was filmmaker Jonathan Demme, who featured The Feelies as “The Willies” in his 1986 movie Something Wild. I guess that was his payback for making  Stop Making Sense two years earlier about the Talking Heads instead of The Feelies!

The Box Tops take it to the streets


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