Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It's Not A Reunion, But After Seventeen Years The Feelies Are Playing Together Again

The New York Times brings us some good news for a change. The Feelies have reunited are playing together again just in time for the 4th of July 2008. In addition to a few sold-out live gigs--including one opening for Sonic Youth on July 4th--the band reports they are also working on new material.

When the Feelies last played together I had just turned legal drinking age. Today I get mail from the AARP. But don't tell the band that this is a reunion. That's just too pretentious a word for a band that has always made a point of keeping things low-key. According to Glenn Mercer, "We just stopped playing, as we had done periodically since we got together." You see, seventeen years is just a tiny break. If I recall correctly that's the same thing he said back when the Feelies started playing again back in 1983.

Personally, I consider this extremely good news. In many ways the Feelies are exactly the kind of under-recognized band I started this blog to honor. And while there have been a couple nice albums from Brenda Sauter's band, Wild Carnation, and an excellent Glenn Mercer solo album to fill the gaps, after seventeen years the world is in serious need of a genuine Feelies fix.

There has been a quite renewal of interest in the band of late. "Let's Go" appeared in a car commercial. The Times reports that the band owns the rights to both Crazy Rhythms and The Good Earth, and that reissues are in the works (no word on whether the A&M material is slated for reissue). When I look over my site stats, I've noticed an increasing number of people show up here after using the google to find information on the Feelies.

I probably saw The Feelies live close to a dozen times back in the 80s. For me seeing the Feelies live was comparable to the way some people felt about seeing The Grateful Dead or Bruce Springsteen. I never followed them around the country or anything, but within reason I never passed up an opportunity to see them play. The interplay between the two guitars and the drums and percussion never failed to inspire. Plus they were always sure to surprise with some cool cover. I'm looking forward to seeing them live again, and purchasing a new album.

In the meantime, here's a couple rare-ish Feelies tracks, both of them covers taken from A&M promo releases. Enjoy.

Barstool Blues [right click to download]
Egyptian Reggae [right click to download]


nyctaper said...

They covered Barstool Blues as one of the encores last night. The complete second set audio recording is up on my site now, along with a review.

Nazz Nomad said...

coolsville- wish i wasn't so lazy so i could see them.

Pete Bilderback said...

NYCtaper--Thanks for posting this.

Hopefully they will play some more shows. I'd love the chance to see them again. I'd certainly make the trip to Maxwell's to see them.

The set list looks a little heavy on covers, but after 17 years, how can you complain. Many of these are the ones I remember them doing back in the day.

Sam Adams said...

Fantastic! I don't suppose you have "She Said, She Said" to add to the collection...

Peter Hennig said...

There's some footage showing up on youtube of the Maxwells shows and Battery Park.

This footage of them doing Raised Eyebrows makes me wonder if it's possible to time travel.

Pete Bilderback said...


Thanks for pointing that out. I'm pretty sure Glenn is even wearing the exact same shirt he had on the last time I saw them.

They haven't lost a beat in seventeen years.