October 10, 1986 |
The Feelies, making an extremely rare local appearance at Revival Sunday night, are making an even rarer appearance in record stores these days: The Haledon, N.J., band's new release, The Good Earth (Coyote Records), is the first Feelies album in more than six years. When first heard from, the Feelies had released Crazy Rhythms in 1980, an album of intricate guitar stylings and dreamy melodies. The Good Earth features a number of new band members but retains the band's creative center, guitarist-singer-writers Bill Million and Glen Mercer.
December 5, 1988 |
The setting was more like that of a poetry reading than a concert. A seated crowd of about 300 people at the Theater of the Living Arts greeted the Feelies last night with a polite smattering of applause as the group of five walked onto the barren stage, with a black backdrop. After each song, the band was saluted with that same pattering of hands. Perhaps it was the lack of a dance floor at the 400-seat auditorium. It could have even been the way the band members stopped after almost every song to crouch over their electronic tuners and tune up their guitars But for some reason, the momentum that the Haledon, N.J., band builds during its three-minute fits of passion doesn't carry from song to song.
November 25, 1988 |
When he named his post-new wave band the Feelies 10 years ago, Bill Million says he "might have been thinking of that children's game where you put your hands inside a covered box and guess what's inside. " Author Aldous Huxley also provided some inspiration. "In the novel 'Brave New World,' he refers to the cinema of the future as 'the feelies.' It's a movie theater where you go and feel the emotions of the characters on screen. " Rock fans who've been lucky to witness the rare Feelies performance or hear one of their albums usually come away elevated by the heady encounter, frothing at the lips.
March 16, 2009 |
The Feelies are one of those beloved band's bands whose influence far exceeds their royalty statements, and, as a consequence, the period on the last sentence in their bio keeps turning into a comma. Born of the suburban garages of North Haledon, N.J., they released Crazy Rhythms in 1980 to massive acclaim and minimal sales, then promptly split off into myriad minor side projects, only to resurface again in 1986 with the altogether wonderful The Good Earth. It was coproduced by Peter Buck, guitarist for R.E.M.
November 25, 1988 |
Being lost in the underground-band abyss isn't always such a bad fate. In 1978, the Village Voice called the Feelies the "best underground band in New York. " Their debut record (Crazy Rhythm, on Stiff in 1980) had a predictable life: Loved by critics and devotees, it was marginally successful before being gobbled up in a sea of business disputes. "We wrote these songs and had one concept of playing music," guitarist Bill Million told the Providence (R.I.) New Paper this year.
April 16, 2010 |
When Crazy Rhythms, the Feelies' first album, came out in 1980, it was deeply loved by a small set of devotees, but it fit awkwardly into the pop music landscape of the time. The intricate but minimalist percussion, the interlocking, tightly wound guitars, the understated, undemonstrative vocals - characteristics derived from the Velvet Underground - were anomalies amid the aggressive post-punk and the arty, quirky New Wave that dominated the New York scene that they frequented. But the Feelies albums have held up better than many of their more-popular contemporaries.
January 25, 1991 |
Bill Million and his buddies in The Feelies don't live in the past - they just respect it. Philadelphia music archivist Dave Brown, on the other hand, takes an almost perverse pleasure in digging out musical dregs of an earlier era - area-based groups such as the Soul Generation and the Nomads, Facts of Life and the Young Generation, who recorded a couple of original songs with their bar-gig profits but didn't even qualify as one-hit wonders....
March 22, 2013
Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside In their showcase set at Antone's at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, last week, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside rumbled like Link Wray while their fishnet-stocking-wearing bespectacled leader declared herself an "Untamed Beast," in the title song to their new album. The Portland, Ore., quartet sport a vintage 1950s look that threatens to pigeonhole them as mere genre revivalist. The same fate threatens other early-rock fetishizing acts like JD McPherson, as well as the untold numbers of suit-and-tie-wearing retro-soul acts roaming stages across the land.
October 9, 1988 |
One indication of the confidence of a rock-and-roll band is the strength of its instrumental play. Writing the great song is one thing, elaborating on it without the luxury of words quite another. The Feelies, considered one of the East Coast's premier bands, make the instrumental writing count and they do it with consistency on Only Life (A&M ). The guitar solos aren't shoehorned into such songs as "Deep Fascination" and "Higher Ground" - they're part of the structures, riding triumphantly over carefully constructed rhythm-guitar accompaniment.
July 18, 2002 |
At the North Star on Tuesday night, the National Trust, Archer Prewitt and Josh Rouse took different routes toward the middle of the road. If they were jeans, they would be, in succession, stone-washed, acid-washed and brushed denim - each snug-fitting and easy on the skin. With rickety rhythm-and-blues arrangements and off-kilter harmonies, the rough-and-tumble National Trust, like Al Green on the corner of Exile on Main Street, was Stones-washed. Neil Rosario's raspy falsetto cascaded nicely onto a messy mix of fuzzy Fender Rhodes and rolling conga lines for a diabolical mid-tempo soul sound.