Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Explode Into Space

The Feelies - Live at CBGB's, New York, NY (6/24/77)
The Feelies - Live at the Whisky, Los Angeles, CA (2/24/81)

Last week I was idly turning pages in one of my CD folders, saw "Feelies" scrawled in Sharpie on a couple of them and thought "Wait a minute, I've got all my Feelies shows in a different folder - what the hell are these?" Then I saw the dates - 1981? 1977?! Wha???

I threw the surprise discs in to give 'em a listen. And that's all I've been listening to for a week now, folks. I think you'll do the same when you get them. This is magic, this is manna, this is sacred cow fertility rite totem pole smoke lodge kiva-this kiva-that spectacular crap. It's craptacular, truly.

According to the best Feelies resource, these are two of the earliest shows floating around as boots. The '77 show is the very earliest available. You're gonna listen to it and at first say "THIS is the Feelies?" but shortly you'll be saying "This IS the Feelies!" And the '81 West Coast show is nothing short of a total guitar-raveup of cosmic dimensions. If the energy of this show could only be turned into raw power, we could give up foreign oil today, forever! And have enough left over to get us to Mars.

The '81 show reminds me of the first time I heard The Good Earth. Came home to the apartment I shared with my oldest brother after a long night out, ears ringing, blood pumping, probably still a bit too much beer in the system even after all the dancing, and my brother was "Listening to music." This means he was enjoying his own music with his own beer, only at home. He didn't like the crowded, smokey nightlife. I can't blame him. Anyway, for a change he actually invited me and my friend Mark to join him. (Not the artist Mark - didn't know him yet - but MIT Mark). Of course, we had to sit perfectly still and not move a muscle because he was playing his newest cache of LPs, not yet transferred to tape and there was no way he was gonna have us bumpy creatures jump around and maybe make the needle skip and scratch his brand new vinyl. So we sat carefully down in the corner like drunken mice. And he put on an album. And we all went to heaven.

Well, almost. By the closing track of side one, I'd almost left my body. I felt my individual atoms vibrate faster and faster and faster and I knew that if the song went on just one more freakin' second I was gonna blow! I'd either leave my corporeal existence and fly the cosmos like the Silver Surfer or I'd obliterate half of Madison's West Side!

Fortunately for Madison, maybe not for me, the song had to end. Older Brother moved to put on side two, but we begged mental delirium and asked him not to. It was too much, I tells ya, too damn much. I felt a lot like that listening to this '81 show, folks. Hope you do too.

A Note to the Listener: There are one or two or so strange moments of silence in the '77 show. I can't tell if they are digi-errors or came from the original source. I swear I hear what sounds like the "clunk" of a Record button getting pushed...

And, brothers and sisters - Buy SHIT! (Someone let me know if Twin Tone's "custom" CD thing really works. Costs twenty bucks per disc and the artist is supposed to get a flat five from that in royalties, but the only one I want is four songs long and at a Lincoln a tune...well, I'm cheap.)

Now playing: Vibracathedral Orchestra - Your Head Shone Like A Stone
via FoxyTunes


Anonymous said...


I had the Girl From Baltimore single.

Stickman said...

Twin Tone's "custom" CD thing really works - I bought their CD of the Suburbs' early works, including that first 7" single, and I love it!

Anonymous said...

I also purchased the previously mentioned Suburbs cd and one from Jonathan Richman. Paul Stark himself burns your cd for you. Totally worth it.

rogue46 said...

Well, you've once again made my day! I'm always up for some live Feelies, and I'm looking forward to this very much!
Where did you get that photo? It took me back. I remember that little dog of Bill's biting my ankles every time I'd visit his place. And to see Vinnie and Keith together, and they all look so young! What a mind blast! Thank you so much! By the way, they are scheduled to play at least 2 more dates in NYC I think in Sept?

gomonkeygo said...

Thanks for the Twin Tone recommends - appreciate it. I'll have to start thinking about what I want. Having Yung Wu on CD would be fine! I have most of the Suburbs on vinyl, excluding the single. Great stuff.

Rogue46: The pic is from The Night of the Living Feelies website. Has quite a few photos. You should check it out. Glad it brought back some good memories.

The Feelies have a MySpace page up now, too, if folks are interested, listing gig dates!

Anonymous said...

Crazy Rhythms and Only Life were recently reissued. I heard that the initial run of Crazy Rhythms sold out really quickly, but apparently they are making more.....

Kevin said...

Thanks for the great Feelies uploads!! I'll be checking them out this Sunday in NYC!!! Oh yeah!!!