This week’s Live Friday is a simple one, but also pretty classic. Depending on how deep into music history you go, there’s a chance you may have heard of The Feelies. They’re a band from New Jersey that was making music from about 1976 to 1992 when they broke up. With their lengthy musical career, they influenced a countless number of bands, though perhaps most notably R.E.M.. There’s a distinctive punk sound to many of their songs, along with Afrobeat as well. You might say that Vampire Weekend wouldn’t exist today were it not for The Feelies. Anyways, the band has gotten back together for a small number of shows in the past couple years, still as vital and exciting as ever even though they’re all aged and have families now. Last summer, they played Chicago for the first time in 15 years, and at the crowned jewel Millennium Park too…for free. I was there and it was nothing short of impressive. If you’ve not heard The Feelies’ debut album “Crazy Rhythms”, put it on your list of things to check out as it is a classic.
That said, The Feelies have played a few 2010 dates, and most notably played a few songs in studio for WXPN last week. If you’ve never heard The Feelies perform live before, or even haven’t seen them since they’ve gotten back together, this session is a good indicator of where the band is at currently. Unlike many of the sessions featured on Live Friday, this one doesn’t have an interview attached to it, either because the band was hesitant to do one, or they simply didn’t have the time. Either way, these songs satisfy, and I hope you’ll give them a try if even if you’ve never heard of The Feelies before. They were essential listening back in the 90s, and they remain essential listening today.