Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Why Didn't I Get the Memo? (An Occasional Series): Special Jersey? Sure! Edition

Okay, so I understand I'm incredibly old and not remotely hep any more, but I gotta tell you -- I simply do not understand how I hadn't even heard of Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem (whose fourth album/major label debut is kind of a big deal all of a sudden) until a profile in The New York Times' magazine two Sundays ago.

This despite the fact that -- as I discovered from this clip of the band performing on the David Letterman show recently -- their music is clearly designed with my mind in mind.

From the Times piece:

Brian Fallon, the scruffy frontman for The Gaslight Anthem, keeps a notebook in which he writes down major events in the band’s history. “It’s one sentence — like, this happened here,” he says. For example, an entry from June 2009: Bruce Springsteen joins the band onstage at the Glastonbury Festival in England. Fallon was walking up the ramp to the stage when Springsteen grabbed his shoulder and asked if he could play with them on “that ‘ ’59 Sound’ song,” the title track from the band’s breakthrough album. “I think I know the chords!” he told Fallon. It was the Jersey-rock version of being knighted. “We got offstage, ” Fallon remembers, “and I said to myself, ‘I don’t think people will view us the same after this.’ ”
The next night, Springsteen was playing an outdoor concert in Hyde Park, and he invited Fallon onstage to sing with him. “I’ve never seen Bruce with a bigger smile on his face singing with a young man,” says the rock historian Matt Pinfield, a fellow Jersey boy and Gaslight fan. “Because even Bruce knows Brian’s the heir apparent.”


Seriously -- I hear some Replacements and Clash as well as The Boss in there, but whatever. These guys seem to be the real fricking deal.

And again -- WHY WASN'T I INFORMED OF THIS??????


FD13NYC said...

I don't know, bands and material like this sound so generic to me. A mishmash of music from the likes of the groups you mentioned. Don't mean to burst bubbles, but a lot of it has to do with luck. And these guys got really lucky.

DeepKarma said...

This is a band I want to like. I really do. Both The 59 Sound and American Slang were disappointing to my ears. No doubt the band has the chops, the sound, the look...but something is missing. Is it the songs? The production? Damned if I know.

That said, I heard 45, the first single off the new album over the weekend and it kinda kicked ass. Maybe this is gonna be their year. After receiving blessings from The Boss, it certainly seems that way.

BTW Don't get your buddy Sal started on The Gaslight Anthem, the disdain for the band over at Burning Wood is...intense.

TMink said...

High energy, thoughtful arrangements, they rock hard. Frankly, I miss the antipathy.


Brooklyn Girl said...

rock historian Matt Pinfield

Isn't he the same Matt Pinhead who was on the now-defunct FM rock radio station? :-)

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

We figured you knew.

Speaking of the Clash, one of their early releases featured a song for tem called "I'da called you Woody, Joe" that I love quite a lot.

And I love The 59 Sound.

matthew said...

I bought the CD on Friday. I want to like them as well but the monotony of their approach is too much for me. They sure play hard and loud, but at the end of they day they don't really rock. No surprises. No fun.

steve simels said...

Hey, what can I tell you.

I've been looking for the successors to The Hold Steady since forever.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Not terrible, but not what I'm into.

FD13NYC said...

Hey matthew, then why did you waste money on the CD? You could have not liked it for free from the internet.

Sal Nunziato said...

@Deep Karma,

"Intense disdain?" MOI?

I don't like them, but I don't remember "intense disdain."

Donald J. Rickles said...

Gaslight Anthem: the real deal. I could use some more accessible songs on the '59 Sound, but what they hey -- every album could use better songs.

Well, maybe not Revolver.

But I digress. . . .

The Hold Steady: Jesus, what an example of a band gone wrong.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I'd like to see a band come along that didn't evoke The Clash or Bruce, or The Stones. Or worse, The Replacements.
These Gaslight Dudes sound like a million forgettable cd's I bought from the crates at Sal's between 1994 and 1996.

DeepKarma said...


Perhaps a better way to describe your feelings on TGA would have been "dismissive". But hey, what are internet comment sections for if not a little hyperbole among friends!

Sal Nunziato said...

@Deep Karma,

Amen to that!

matthew said...


1. I keep forgetting it's not the '80s anymore.
2. I work four blocks from Amoeba Records, Hollywood. At 31,000 square ft., it's the crack den of recorded music.

Thanks for the wake up. Yours may be just the cold slap in the face I need.


Hey matthew, then why did you waste money on the CD? You could have not liked it for free from the internet.

8/08/2012 12:39 AM

DeepKarma said...

In case you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend Sal's Gaslight Anthem post this morning. It certainly cleared up my mixed feelings about these guys.


Trip McClatchy said...

I am also old and not remotely hep and I love The Gaslight Anthem - one of the best young bands out there. And anything that calls to mid The Clash, Replacements and/or Springsteen is OK by me. 59 Sounds is one the best albums of the last decade. Glad you are on board, Steve.