The legendary club that first had me crossing the Hudson in the early 90's not only changed hands in ownership. It's moved on with the times and no longer provides music for local and touring musicians in the way it did for decades. Times change though and while that might be hard for many to emotionally digest, it's inevitable. So when Jim Testa invited me to his Jersey Beat showcase. I was more that happy to attend.
First impression of Maxwell's rebooted were good. Getting carded at the door as a forty something was a good start. Being on the guest list, pretty cool. The back room looks really sharp. The moved the bar and make the room look a lot brighter, deeper and wider.
The overall feel of the crowd was great and it was a pleasure to see so many familiar faces.
Bastards of Melody opened the show on a promising note. Formed way back in 1998.
The trio featuring Paul Crane, Paul Gil and Scott Treude.... gave the intimate crowd a rewarding set of power pop that quickly reminded me of bands like Sloan, Big Star and the Replacements. Lead singer/guitarist Crane loomed tall over the crowd boasting a pretty impressive Hank's Saloon Tee. One that reminded me of may a wild night in Brooklyn.
For their swan song, the band was joined by host Jim Testa of Jersey Beat for a cover of
Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane. Afterward, I headed over to the merch table in the back and grabbed copies of Breakup, Fun Machine and Hurry Up and Wait. Good stuff I thoroughly enjoyed listening to. Bastards of Melody
In the days leading up to the show host and Jersey Beat founder Jim Testa asked me if I was familiar with The Milwaukees. "Sure, if you mean hearing about them from you countless times." The truth was, despite hearing the name and having a couple of CD's I had never listened to taking up space in my bookcases." Regardless, the chance to finally see and hear a band that had ben talked about so often in Jersey Rock lore was much needed.
From the first song to the last. The bands energy and connection with with the crowd was praiseworthy. I felt my body move in places that seemed forever cast in stone.
Singing along to songs I had never heard and enjoying the charisma and chemistry of a great band. If all goes well, I will be both seeing and hearing out this Jersey City band for years to come.
Eastern Anchors inclusion on the nights bill.
I would have never made it off the couch.
With the keys changing hands at Maxwell's in 2013 and my purchasing a home in Jersey City in 2014. I've had little to no reason to return to the town I called home for over ten years.
The somewhat rare opportunity to see
Eastern Anchors anywhere near my zip code was all the gas I needed to get on to RT. 139 and in to the biggest collection of potholes in all of New Jersey. While my exposure to Eastern Anchors stated in 2012 with a handful of shows and the release of the outstanding
Drunken Arts & Pure Science. The bands membership, music and footprint on New Jersey rock goes back to the 90's with Aviso'Hara,
Mr. Thumb and Tow. These days I find myself listening to Eastern Anchors more and more while getting familiar with Aviso'Hara. What I love most about this band is that, while they remind me of long time favorites Husker Du. It's the overall sound and performance of Eastern Anchors that I love. Imagine, if you will, a band that sounds like themselves. That's what I feel I'm getting when in the midst of an
Eastern Anchors song or live set. Great seeing these guys again and again and.......