The dB's and Freedy Johnston, two veteran music acts that have strong connections to the Mile Square City, will be the leading artists at the spring edition of the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival on Sunday, May 6th.
Above:: The dB's performing "Big Brown Eyes" from their debut album, "Stands for Decibels."
The dB's, which formed in the late 1970s, became a favorite in the New York area and beyond with their short, fast, jangly, pop-rock sound, and were one of the first bands to play at Maxwell's in Hoboken. The group that plays at the festival on Sunday will be its original four-man lineup: Peter Holsapple, Chris Stamey, Gene Holder, and Will Rigby. Three of them lived in Hoboken at one time or another, and one still does, according to the band's website.
The dB's broke up in 1988 and at least part of the band has reunited a few times since then. The band will be headlining the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday and have several other gigs planned, including NYC's Le Poisson Rouge on June 15th.
In March the dB's announced that their new album, entitled "Falling Off the Sky,"would be released on June 12th. The album, their first studio release in 25 years or so, will be on Hoboken's Bar/None record label.
New Jersey punk/indie-pop duo The Front Bottoms plays before the dB's at 3:15. They've gotten acclaim from everyone from the L.A. Times to AbsolutePunk, with their debut self-titled album named to a number of best-of-2011 lists. You can hear two songs from the album at Bandcamp.
Above: Freedy Johnston's video for "Bad Reputation," from the album "Can You Fly."
Singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston, a former Hoboken resident, can still be seen performing in the Mile Square City from time to time, and Sunday won't be his first appearance at this festival. He's put out more than 10 albums full of well-crafted folk-pop tunes, including "Can You Fly," "This Perfect World," and "Right Between the Promises," and is perhaps best known for his chart hit "Bad Reputation" (video above).
Freedy Johnston takes the stage at 2 p.m.
Also playing on Sunday: the Jersey City rock band Wyldlife, local favorites the Demolition String Band, the rock trio Stephie Coplan & the Pedestrians, and standards-singing Emily Turonis (who impressed me with her performance at this festival in 2010).
The Hoboken Arts & Music Festival takes place on three stages on Washington Street (I've left off the schedule for the children's stage). Here are the schedules for the two main stages:
Observer Highway Stage (on Washington St. bet. Newark & Observer Highwy)
11:45 a.m. – Wyldlife
12:30 p.m. – The One & Nines
1:15 – Demolition String Band
2:00 – Freedy Johnston
3:15 – The Front Bottoms
4:45 – The dB's
Sixth Street Stage
12:30 p.m. – Bandwidth
1:10 – Hannah & The M&Ms
1:30 – Outside the Box
2:25 – Stephie Coplan & the Pedestrians
3:15 – Funkaphonic with Rob Harari
4:00 – Emily Turonis
4:40 – Alexandria Potosnak
5:00 – Orchestra C2