Tag Archives: Pearl Jam


Catch Webster Hall’s Double Rock Bill with Anberlin and the Maine

October 29th, 2013

Positive alternative-rock group Anberlin (above, performing “City Electric” for AXS TV) formed in Central Florida more than a decade ago. They began making a name for themselves by putting out three albums in five years. But things really began to take off with their first major-label release, New Surrender, in 2008, and its follow-up, produced by Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam), Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place two years later, both out on Universal Republic. The five-piece—Stephen Christian (vocals and keys), Joseph Milligan (guitar and vocals), Deon Rexroat (bass), Nathan Young (drums) and Christian McAlhaney (guitar and vocals)—continue with their prolific ways, releasing their seventh full-length, Devotion (stream it below), just a few weeks ago.

Influenced by ’90s radio rock, the Maine formed in Tempe, Ariz., in early 2007 and released their first full-length, the catchy, pop-punk Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, the following year. And like Anberlin, they’re also a five-piece: John O’Callaghan (vocals, guitar and piano), Kennedy Brock (guitar, vocals), Jared Monaco (guitar), Patrick Kirch (drums) and Garrett Nickelsen. And also like their tour mates, the Maine (above, doing “Whoever She Is” for Daytrotter) are quite prolific. Forever Halloween (stream it below), their fourth LP in just six years, was released earlier this year to a fair bit of acclaim. And you can see Anberlin and the Maine—plus Lydia and From Indian Lakestonight at Webster Hall.


The Long Winters Took a Look Back at The Bowery Ballroom

October 21st, 2013

The Long Winters – The Bowery Ballroom – October 18, 2013

John Roderick and Sean Nelson, the two founding members of the lapsed and debatably defunct band the Long Winters, took the stage at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom on Friday night under the auspices of a reunion that maybe was and maybe wasn’t. They had gathered to play their seminal sophomore record, When I Pretend to Fall, just six months past its 10-year anniversary. Roderick was in his usual biting form, cracking sardonic jokes about fans’ online relationship with the band: “Now the fans can go home and express their displeasure on the Internet. Back in the old days, you just had to go home and suck it.” Nelson, an on-again-off-again member of Harvey Danger, nodded approvingly as those in the audience chuckled.

Most revealing was when Roderick paused to answer questions later in the set. As fans yelled for the next Long Winters record, he sarcastically demurred, replying that it was on a hard drive on his desk and “every once in a while I adjust the EQ mix on one of the toms and then I wait another year.” There was no mystery to the set list for the band or the audience. It was When I Pretend to Fall from front to back, beginning with the familiar standard “Blue Diamonds” and running through favorites “Shapes,” “Cinnamon,” “Stupid” and “New Girl.” Roderick stepped in often with his trademark banter, remarking after “Blanket Hog” that he’d written it about a disastrous romance only to later realize “that it was, in fact, I who was the blanket hog.”

Most winning was his story accompanying “Stupid,” one of the band’s most wrenching songs. Roderick relayed the tale of trying to track down a Princeton, N.J., record-store clerk he’d met, only to discover she’d moved to California. So, he wrote “Stupid” for her, about which Sean Nelson sarcastically remarked: “And I’ll play this song at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom 10 years later to show you.” Roderick seemed to respond to this brand of forward and backward reflection in the middle of “Prom Night at Hater High,” asking, “How did I get old?”

But it was Nelson who got the last word during the “New Girl” breakdown, gently ribbing Roderick for unoriginally by singing the chorus from Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” and then the English Beat’s “Save It for Later” over the song’s chord progression. Roderick laughed. It was two older tunes laid over a slightly newer one, all more than a decade behind us—gray hair in Roderick’s beard and on Nelson’s head—near the end of CMJ, a festival about restless, relentless newness. For a night, it was all in the past. —Geoff Nelson




Five Questions with … Roger Miller of Mission of Burma

January 16th, 2013

All Boston’s Mission of Burma did in their original early-’80s incarnation was put out two albums, Signals, Calls, and Marches and the seminal Vs., and essentially give birth to the post-punk movement. The quartet—Roger Miller (vocals and guitar), Clint Conley (bass), Peter Prescott (drums) and Martin Swope (tape manipulations and sound engineer)— quickly became known for solid songwriting, a unique punk-tinged sound and extremely loud live shows. But after Miller developed tinnitus, Mission of Burma (above, playing “1, 2, 3, Party!!” for KEXP FM) broke up in 1983. However the band’s legacy carried on, influencing the likes of Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Pearl Jam (who even named their second LP Vs.). And that’s where this story would end, but, seemingly out of nowhere, Mission of Burma reunited in 2002—with Bob Weston replacing Swope—and went on to release four more critically acclaimed albums, including last year’s Unsound. Now they’re back in town to play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday, and last week Roger Miller answered Five Questions for The House List.

What’s the last band you paid to see live?
Do DJs count? DJ Jonathan Toubin was spinning amazing unknown soul and R&B in Boston for a dance-party vibe a few days ago. Went dancing there with my gal. As far as non-DJs, Boston’s Callithumpian Consort performing a John Cage piece (and pieces by some of his cohorts) just before New Year’s Eve.

Where do you like to hang out in NYC? And do you ever feel like you could live here?
I hang near the clubs (The Bowery Ballroom; Lincoln Center) I play, or else at friends’ places I stay, in Tribeca, the East Village and Williamsburg. When I first went to NYC with Burma in 1979, I thought I’d live there eventually. Gradually this wore off as I get to visit NYC all the time (mostly playing shows) and hence have no need for the intense compression of NYC life.

Do you have any crutches when writing a song—are there certain words or styles you feel you lean on too much?
I’ve been told I write about water too much, and that I use the word forget too often. I believe this critique is accurate. If I’m having no inspiration for lyrics, I go to my dream journal. While this is definitely a form of a crutch, it’s not negative in my opinion. It’s always surprising and refreshing.

Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you?
All my songs are, to some degree, first person—even the ones that don’t make sense (or especially those).

After all these years on the road, what have you learned to make touring easier?
In the last five years I started using my laptop (with headphones) for composing scores, and the scoring program plays the scores (rather crassly) to the score I’m writing. This takes me away from my immediate environment, putting me in more of a “head” space than a “van” space. Books are good, too. —R. Zizmor

Exclusive Video: RNDM Perform Live at Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 13th, 2012

While best known as the bassist for Pearl Jam, one of the biggest bands in the world, Jeff Ament has always pursued other musical outlets. So he never forgot about the random meeting he had with singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur back in 1999. And when the two finally got together again—this time with drummer Richard Stuverud and Pearl Jam engineer Brett Eliason—they did so with the intention of making an up-temp rock record, the recently released Acts, under the name RNDM. Watch them perform “What You Can’t Control,” recorded live from Music Hall of Williamsburg exclusively for The Bowery Presents Live channel on YouTube.

Check out three more songs from the same set: http://tbp.im/RTy4cg. And subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live to watch more performances and interviews and to get the latest info on our upcoming live-streaming shows.


Two Nights of RNDM

November 2nd, 2012

Variety is the spice of life, or so the saying goes. But it’s a true story when it comes to
Jeff Ament
, who despite being Pearl Jam’s bassist since 1990, still yearns to do something different from time to time. And this time that thing is RNDM. The band name comes from the random meeting he and singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur once had at Wetlands in 1999. It took some time for them to reunite, but when they finally did—with the addition of drummer Richard Stuverud (previously bandmates with Ament in Three Fish)—they intended to make an up-tempo rock album, which was recorded over four days in a Montana studio with Pearl Jam engineer Brett Eliason. That album, Acts, was just released on Tuesday. Stream it below, watch the video for its lead single, “Modern Times,” above, and then go see RNDM live at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight or next Thursday, 11/8, at The Bowery Ballroom.