Our Careless Lifestyle, It Was Not So Unwise
I’ve mentioned before that CoolDaughter #1 swims competitively. This past weekend (actually, starting Thursday) we went to Rutgers for the summer Junior Olympics. She’s a specialist, CoolDaughter #1 — a breaststroker. That meant that we were at the meet for two individual events and two relays.
I absolutely love watching the girl swim. What usually happens, though, is that she swims her individual event; and then we wait about four hours for the relay. On Thursday, I took out my phone during the four-hour wait and noticed that Real Estate had booked a last-minute, late-night show at Maxwell’s for Monday night. I’d promised CoolMom that, after all of these Maxwell’s shows were over, I’d take it easy for a while. I couldn’t pass on this one, though.
Opener Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls and The Babies was set to go on at 11:30. I’d left myself what I thought was plenty of time, but the nearest parking garage to Maxwell’s closed for entry at 10PM. That meant a walk up from 2nd Street for me. I’ll miss a lot of things about Maxwell’s, but looking for parking in Hoboken will not be one of them.
I made it inside after Ramone had started her set, but managed to catch almost the whole thing. She played solo, using Martin Courtney’s acoustic guitar. Always a good songwriter, her new material showed that her songs have gotten even smarter, sharper with experience. Ramone also seems much more confident in her unconventional singing voice. She pointed out that, like the members of Real Estate, she’d been to many shows at Maxwell’s while growing up in New Jersey and that she was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the send-off.
The stage had already been set up for Real Estate, so the band were able to begin their set almost immediately following Ramone. Martin Courtney warned the crowd that the band would be playing several new songs. The band played what had to be almost a full album’s worth of new material, including an instrumental and songs on which Matt Mondanile and Alex Bleeker each took lead vocals.
Though I love the first two Real Estate records and would have loved to have heard more from them, the new material had all the reverb and single-coil jangle that I was looking for coming into the evening. The crowd appeared to enjoy all the new material as well, but the biggest reaction during the early portion of the set was for “Green Aisles” from 2011’s Days.
Glenn Mercer joined the band on stage; and, after some initial technical difficulties, played what will likely be the last Feelies music ever heard at Maxwell’s (“It’s Only Life” and “The High Road”). The band closed the hour and fifteen minute set with “Beach Comber” from their debut and anotherDays track, “It’s Real.”
After the set, I got to speak to a couple of the members of Real Estate and was able to get that the album containing all of last night’s new material is due in January. As I’ve said, Maxwell’s is great for that. There aren’t many places where, when one of your favorite bands is done with their set, you can just go up to them and ask about the new record.
This really was my last trip Maxwell’s. I’ll be at a Team NJ swim practice while the closing block party is happening. As I sit there in the stands, watching CoolDaughter #1 and her New Jersey teammates swim their sets, I’m certain there won’t be any surprise Maxwell’s shows popping up that I just can’t miss.