Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hoboken's Bar/None Records Pays Tribute to Maxwell's in its Final Week

If longtime fans of Maxwell's hadn't started feeling the impact of its impending closing yet, they certainly were after Tuesday night's gig, an all-star show by artists from Hoboken's own Bar/None Records.

Speed the Plough on stage at Maxwell's.
Speed the Plough on stage at Maxwell's.

The label, which has been around since the mid-'80s, has put out recordings by a whole cast of musicians from Hoboken or associated with the town, and the club: The Feelies, the dB's, The Individuals, Freedy Johnston, Alex Chilton, Juliana Hatfield, Health and Happiness Show, They Might Be Giants, Speed the Plough, Kate Jacobs, and Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey, among many others. (See links to more articles about Maxwell's and its closing at the end of this post.)

The first band to take the stage was Speed the Plough, a band that grew out of the Trypes, which in turn was a spin-off of The Feelies. They played a solid set of a half-dozen or so songs, and were succeeded by acts that played anywhere from one song (Kate Jacobs) to 20 minutes or so (James Mastro's Health & Happiness Show).

Health and Happiness Show.
Health & Happiness Show, with Glenn Mercer (left) adding vocals.

Guitarist and songwriter Chris Stamey, a member of Maxwell's staple the dB's, played a satisfying set backed by Gene Holder on bass and Anton Fier on drums. Freedy Johnston, who also has played Maxwell's many times, played one song early in the show, but fortunately appeared later to play his own set, finishing with his classic "The Lucky One."

Chris Stamey at Maxwell's.
Chris Stamey, with Anton Fier on drums.

With this gig occupying the middle spot between two other shows at Maxwell's (... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead on Tuesday, and The Muffs on Thursday, we left the show at 12:30 a.m., after Johnston's set. We heard that the show didn't wrap up till nearly 2 a.m. Like early days of the Hoboken music scene, the show was sprawling, chaotic, and full of great music.

Freedy Johnston.
Freedy Johnston.
More about Maxwell's from around the Web:
"Val Emmich, one of Maxwell's' most successful post-millennial alumni, returns for one more show,"
"Farewell Maxwell's: Remembering the Legendary New Jersey Venue," talk with co-owner Todd Abramson,

"Remembering Maxwell's, New Jersey's Legendary Rock Club," videos, The New Yorker

"The Hoboken Sound: An Oral History of Maxwell's," New York Magazine

"Reliving Maxwell's glory days," Abramson notes the most memorable shows, New York Post

"Hoboken Moms Replace Maxwell’s Rock Fans in Housing Boom," Bloomberg

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