The Feelies

You’re about to click away. It’s okay, I don’t take it personally. This post is about music, not about freethought. Who do I think I am anyway, Lester Bangs?

I remember discovering The Feelies records about a decade ago. Something told me that it was so special that I should save them for a day when I gave up on music. I’ve done this with books too, refusing to read the last book in a series, or even the last pages. Finishing them seemed too fatalistic.

Now I’m older and though I haven’t given up on music, I now view my time-capsule stalling efforts as pretentious. All it got me was a half-forgotten list of music and art that I cheated myself out of loving.

cover art for Crazy Rhythms by The Feelies

The Feelies 1980 debut, ‘Crazy Rhythms’ is older than me. It’s not quite a perfect album, as I could do without the more straight-forward acoustic rock of ‘Moscow Nights’ and one or two other good-but-not-great songs. The rest is top shelf music.

…The guitar team of Mercer and Million smokes throughout, whether it’s soft, rhythmic chiming with a mysterious, distanced air or blasting, angular solos. But Fier is the band’s secret weapon, able to play straight-up beats but aiming at a rumbling, strange punch that updates Velvet Underground / Krautrock trance into giddier realms. Mercer’s obvious Lou Reed vocal inflections make the VU roots even clearer, but even at this stage of the game there’s something fresh about the work the quartet does, even 20 years on — a good blend of past and present, rave-up and reflection…

excerpt from AMG’s review of Crazy Rhythms

Goddamn right the drummer is the secret weapon. He’s gotta be from mars or something. Those really are some crazy rhythms. The way he bangs through ‘Raised Eyebrows’ made me a believer

Raised Eyebrows

Crazy Rhythms

Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me and My Monkey

Forces at Work

The Feelies were first wave contemporaries of the late 70’s Punk / New Wave breakthrough. It happened all over the globe at the same time. In 1978 The Feelies played this very raw rendition of “Crazy Rhythms” at the legendary venue, CBGB’s in New York City.

Crazy RhythmsLive at CBGB’s in 1978 (omfug wtf!)

How the hell does this footage even exist?! That’s nuts! The audio quality doesn’t do it justice, but… wow.

I’m a music nerd, and I know we all have different tastes – I’m all over the place. Maybe you’d dismiss me a hipster / music snob, but that’s okay. Listen to what you like, no matter what it is, and I’ll do the same. You’re probably nerdy about something too. Perhaps it’s video games. Or maybe you’re in a fantasy football league. That’s basically like Advanced Dungeons and Dragons for jocks. I like and am nerdy about obscure art-damaged catchy music. If you have any old vinyl records eating up room in your attic, I’d be more than happy to take them off your hands. [Though I am definitely not looking for the ‘crooner’ stuff that floods thrift stores across the country.]

Did anybody else save something amazing for a later date? Did you regret it?

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