Aug 072013

The All-Star Jam is the place to share what’s on your mind…for mature audiences only!


  12 Responses to “All-Star Jam”

  1. cherguevara

    Hey gang – so Maxwell’s closed and here is footage of the last song ever performed there:,AAAAPLMIP6E~,BRrRHTAljlELD08zlMeHyAHjqVCNkbI2

    Let’s be charitable and set aside the performance itself, in which I think the emotion of the moment (and being there in person) changes the perceived quality of it.

    I want to ask about the song choice, because I always thought of Big Star’s “Thank You Friends” as being ironic. The way Chilton sneers through those lyrics. All the ladies and gentlemen who made this all so… probable? Probable. Not wonderful. Not beautiful. I always took this to be a big middle finger to the people to kept Chilton and Big Star from success.

    Was this the best song to choose? Maybe yes – or would you choose a different song for this occasion, if it were your call?

  2. Is that James Mastro front and center? What has he aged, about 3 weeks since 1983?

    I see what you mean about the meaning of the song, although a Big Star song is fairly appropriate. The band is one of those “godfathers” of the Hoboken scene. I’ll think about whether there might have been a more appropriate song.

    I will miss Maxwell’s. Why did it close? I had no idea the closing was coming until a few weeks ago, and I’ve been too busy to read up on it.

    As rarely as I go out to see shows, I would still drive up to Maxwell’s every 5 years if there was a show that caught my eye. Seeing Big Dipper at one of their first reunion shows, for instance, was a blast. It was like seeing the right band in the right place. The Stiff Records tribute CD our label released had its record release show there. It was the PERFECT setting, and for once, playing at that club, I felt like I belonged.

    That feeling wasn’t the case the first time our band played there, in 1986 or so. That was the night Ira Kaplan did sound and literally stuck his fingers in his ears and made an “icky” face as we did our best to work whatever magic we might have had. “You’re too loud!” he kept telling us, from soundcheck through the show. He may have been right, but I was bugged by the way he whined about our stage volume. We were complete idiots, but a year or 3 earlier I’d caught a set by an early version of his band (when they had a 4th member – on a bill with Scruffy the Cat, still featuring the banjo player, and The Feelies) and thought Yo La Tengo were really good. I went from looking forward to bonding with this guy to thinking he was a complete pussy, right or wrong as he may have been about the stage volume. A couple of years later I put aside my bad attitude about Kaplan and went to see YLT in Philadelphia. He started their set with some second-rate “Down by the River” jam, with him wailing at max volume on his guitar, making a series of poopy faces while trying to be half the guitarist Neil Young was. After that 10-minute, ear-splitting, minor-key jam, the band launched into another song in that vein. I felt like stepping to the front of the stage, sticking my fingers in my ears, making a “who farted?” face, and telling him to turn down. Instead I left the club.

    Bite me, Kaplan, no matter how right you probably were about our stage volume that night and how much I loved Maxwell’s and even that first show I saw of your band in Hoboken!

  3. New Sam Phillips album is pretty good. Nice mix of uptempo songs and more pensive stuff. The production is sorta stripped down (a la Fan Dance) but with the interesting arrangements of something like Martinis & Bikinis.

  4. Original Pere Ubu bassist Tim Wright (later of No Wave band DNA) has died at 61.

    His throbbing bass parts on early stuff like “Final Solution” and “Heart of Darkness” always hit the spot.

  5. cherguevara

    That’s Richard Barone front and center. He definitely seems to not age at the same rate as us and takes good care of himself.

    Last time I went to Maxwell’s, you could take the time I spend driving there and back, plus the time I spent at the club and it would be less than the amount of time I spent looking for parking.

  6. Thanks — always happy to hear from Sam Phillips. We still listen to Martinis & Bikinis from time to time at our house. I also like her Don’t Do Anything album from 2008.

  7. It is Mastro with the hat on just to the left. He hasn’t aged a day, but he has no hair. I think I’ve seen him as a sideman with about 5 different acts in the last few years, including Ian Hunter. He’s an ubiquitous hired hand for solo artists touring with a band.

  8. I bought into one of those artist subscription services that Sam ran for about 2 years. It was about 50 bucks and by the end it totaled about 50 downloads, 4 EPs, 1 LP and a few miscellaneous single songs. A lot of really great stuff.

    This new album was her first release after closing that up. I sprung for the recycled one of a kind homemade cover vinyl versions of this new one with some birthday money. The record hasn’t arrived yet, but I got the free download a few weeks ago and it’s really good. Then again, I even enjoy Omnipop!

  9. Love that Ira Kaplan story. I saw them open for the Feelies at Swarthmore around 1990 and they were doing the three piece thrash thing in a big gymnasium sounding room. They were just Godawful.

  10. Hey Geo, I like Omnipop too, although I can generally only listen to it about once a year.

  11. Speaking of motorcycles and music and death, a moment of silence for Karen Black.

  12. ladymisskirroyale

    Does that mean that The Voluptious Horror of Karen Black will become a tribute band?

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