Jersey Postpunk Trailblazers The Feelies Announce Upcoming Shows

Photo credit: Doug Seymour

The Feelies are coming! The Feelies are coming!

Way back in 1978, The Village Voice called them “The Best Underground Band in New York”. But New Jersey should rightfully claim them. Haledon natives Glenn Mercer and Bill Million co-founded the band in 1976.

While Jersey dates have not been announced, The Feelies will be playing a short list of tour dates for Spring 2018. The band is scheduled to play two shows at Rough Trade Records in Brooklyn on April 13 and 14. While tickets are still available (as of January 15), we recommend you snag them quickly.

R.E.M. cites them as a major influence. Author Rick Moody (“Garden State”, “The Ice Storm”) swears by them. Jonathan Demme cast them as The Willies in his 1986 film “Something Wild”.

The Feelies performing in 2015. (Photo via Facebook/the feelies)

Frenetic, tuneful, and challenging, the band called Maxwell’s in Hoboken their unofficial home for many years. After disbanding in 1992, Sonic Youth convinced them to reconvene for a New York show in 2008. The band has played spurts of live shows ever since.

Band members Glenn Mercer, Bill Million, Brenda Sauter, Stan Demeski and Dave Weckerman are spread out throughout the country, so getting them all together can be a bit of a challenge.

So are you new to The Feelies? Don’t be shy. Here are a few things to start with.

What’s their name about?

Bands can be coy about letting folks know the etymology of their name. Common parlance is that The Feelies took their name from the fictional entertainment gizmo in Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”.

What’s the first album I should listen to?

Start with “Crazy Rhythms”. It’s their first album (1980), and “Fa Cé-La” is one of the band’s signature songs. Rolling Stone tapped it as #49 of the 100 best albums of the 1980s. Spin Magazine lists it as #49 of the best alternative records of all time.

The band released their album “In Between” in 2017. “I think all of our albums reflect a certain degree of reaction to the work that we previously did and In Between is no exception,” said Feelies guitarist Bill Million. “We liked the sounds and the feel of the demos for this album and we thought it would be difficult to capture that in a recording studio. So that was our starting point and it evolved in a much more relaxed way that loaned itself to more creative interplay. Time wasn’t a component. If you let it, music can take on a life of its own and we wanted to allow the songs to develop with that idea in mind.”

Visit The Feelies’ website for all upcoming show information.