Monday, June 02, 2008

Jesse Malin Plays a Marathon Show at Maxwell's

Punk rocker turned singer-songwriter Jesse Malin showed both sides of his musical personality at a show at Maxwell's in Hoboken on Friday night. Well, it was practically two shows: Malin played an engaging set with acoustic guitar, accompanied by singer and keyboardist Christine Smith, then brought on his full band for a second set. The whole evenng lasted more than an hour and a half... quite a long show by club standards.

Malin is a fun performer to see live, especially in a small venue such as Maxwell's (where I also saw him perform a New Year's Eve show a few years back). His full-band set was rocking, backed by Smith and other musicians who are longtime Malin collaborators, But even his acoustic songs can have a kind of punk edge to them.

Formerly a member of the punk group D Generation, Malin has several solo albums under his belt. The Maxwell's gig was billed as a CD release party for his latest disc, "Mercury Retrograde," a live set drawn from shows he performed at New York's Mercury Lounge.

In addition the studio albums of his own material, Malin also has a covers CD out called "On Your Sleeve," featuring some of his favorite tunes from the '70s. He performed several tunes from that CD at Maxwell's, including Paul Simon's "Me And Julio Down By The School Yard," Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side," and Jim Croce's "Operator."

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