Monthly Archives: October 2011

Verve (pre- “the”), 1992

Verve, “One Way to Go” (live, fall 1992)

During what I’ve come to realize must have been CMJ in fall 1992, Chris and I met up in the city for two nights of musical mayhem. Friday was the Fontana Records showcase at…was there once a place called the Academy? The bill included Ocean Colour Scene, Catherine Wheel, and House of Love, whose latest album at the time, Babe Rainbow, remains to my mind one of the lost classics of nineties rock. Not that I was able to enjoy the show completely, having smoked my first- and last-ever Winston red down to the bone, attempting to mask the waft of my doobage, and awakened moments later on my back in the men’s room with three bouncers leaning in on me. Chris swept in just in time, taking me out for some air (as he hoisted me up, I saw myself literally green in the bathroom mirror), and then finding us a nice spot in the balcony where I could ride out the rest of the show like a feeb.

Saturday night we caught Eugenius at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, but back when they were still called Captain America. It was a great show, and in most historic retellings would rate as a typical man-they-were-so-awesome-we-were-THERE experience. Except the problem was that afterward, as fast as we tried to get back to Manhattan, all we caught of the next item on our list, Verve at CBGB, was the last song: We got there and Richard Ashcroft was on his damn knees on the stage as Nick McCabe’s laser guitar shot the whole, mostly empty place up. “Gravity Grave.” They hadn’t even put out an album yet, nobody in the U.S. had heard of them, but all summer Chris and I had been obsessed with their single “Man Called Sun,” pumping it in whichever mom car we were able to cop, cruising around Princeton, back and forth from the video store and the bowling alley and the shore.

One song. One song was all we saw, all so we could catch Captain America/Eugenius first. Not to dis “Buttermilk,” which would make it onto a few mixtapes, but Verve—they hadn’t been forced to add the definite article in front of their name yet—was the point of the whole weekend and ended up being one of my guiding-star bands throughout college, and I’d always wonder what the rest of that short set had been like. Until this week, when I came across a bootleg at the Princeton Record Exchange that claims to feature tunes “Live in New York & London 1992.” No other information is provided. And if I am to believe it is true, none further, really, is needed. I was right about Nick McCabe’s laser beams. I can close my eyes and I’m there.

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Sea Ray

Sea Ray (1997–2004) was a Brooklyn band at whose shows I could be counted upon to hoot out a “Whooo!” or two (and then to say, to whoever I was with, “You gotta go Whooo! every once in a while”). It was either that or clapping really loud while trying to hold your drink between your teeth, which by the end of the night would become challenging. That the six-piece group consisted of not just good friends but also my roommates (the family tree of 540 State Street will by necessity be the subject of a future post) was only half the story: They rocked. Not that it wasn’t fun to drink with them in the little curtained VIP area at the Bowery Ballroom after the show, but some of my most blissful moments with them came as I sat at the top of the basement stairs, listening to them practice on Sunday afternoons, when they didn’t know I was there. I miss Sea Ray. And so I was glad to see this video surface recently. Now I await the reunion.

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New Thunderegg Pricing Plan

When we rolled out the new Egg music store, our board of directors spent countless sleepless nights debating the proper pricing plan. They finally came up with fifty cents per song, which they argued was a lot cheaper than iTunes, and then, considering that most of the albums have 20+ songs, they came up with the discount rate of $5 for a whole album. It seemed reasonable, the board took the model to the shareholders, I…I mean the shareholders voted, and on September 1, 2011, the plan went into action.

Now, after observing the standard 37-day review of practices, I have determined that the plan is inadequate. Free the Egg. The shareholders fired the board. I fired the shareholders. Everybody’s out of work. And we shall move forward with a pay-what-you-want system for high-quality digital downloads of complete albums, which I suspected was what we should’ve had in the first place. Physical copies, which are charming and rare and require postage, still will cost you—and everybody really ought to own Open Book—but starting today you can name your price for fourteen years of Thunderegg albums, from Larry to Where Are the Cars. (That includes $0.00, you cheap bastards.) Pow(d)er to the people!

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Watching the playoffs with Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp
TheRealMattKemp  Matt Kemp
Pizza man is broke down in the middle of the street!! Someone is gonna b mad!!

37 minutes ago

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Thank you, Das Klienicum

The Egg was featured in a long, amazing write-up on Germany’s das klienicum blog yesterday. Google Translate makes a complete hash of it, which is a shame because it appears that our homie Eike Klien’s style is both lyrical and highly pro-Thunderegg, hands-down my favorite kind of writing. For example, here’s the piece’s final sentence:

a hammer, a madness, until nothing here yet to have heard of this band. There is a lot to catch up. for you, for me, for everyone.

Damn straight! Thanks, Eike. More of Google Translate’s ruthlessly avant-garde prose after the jump.

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