The Feelies: Some Kinda Love: Performing The Music of The Velvet Underground (Bar/None) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Feelies

Some Kinda Love: Performing The Music of The Velvet Underground


Feb 19, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

From the time The Feelies released their now classic debut album Crazy Rhythms in 1980 and especially since 1986’s The Good Earth, they have received countless comparisons to The Velvet Underground. While this isn’t entirely meritless (far from it, as it turns out), it ignored the band’s other influences and inspirations as well as their own unique style, which subsequently went on to greatly influence generations of also influential and important artists from R.E.M. to Dean Wareham (whose band Luna’s first drummer was none other than The Feelies’ incredible Stan Demeski), most prominently, to indie artists who got popular in the 2000s indie boom like Philly’s Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Nevertheless, by 1988’s third album (and the band’s masterpiece) Only Life, The Feelies relented to the critical pressure and put a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On” at the end of the album.

Fast forward to 2018, now 10 years reunited at that point, they decided to take this one step further by playing an evening of just Velvet Underground songs at their (sort of) hometown venue, Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall in conjunction with The Velvet Underground Experience exhibit that was going on in Manhattan around the same time. It’s a bit of a shame, then, that this didn’t get released until late last year given that the last Feelies studio release was 2017’s In Between, but it was well worth the wait.

Instead of the more formal nature of the studio recording, the take on “What Goes On” found here feels more loose, free, and just flat-out fun than their studio work, and that same approach is consistent alongside the entire set. Playing songs from throughout the first four Velvet Underground albums sprinkled alongside some choice non-album cuts, the highlights here are many.

Notably, bassist Brenda Sauter (also of the terrific Wild Carnation) sings “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” reprising Nico’s iconic role, and also “After Hours,” her somewhat similar voice a great fill-in for Velvets drummer Mo Tucker. Guitarist and longtime friend James Mastro (of both The Bongos and Health and Happiness Show) also joined them on guitar and vocals for the non-album “I Can’t Stand It,” so it feels even more like a party, while Richard Barone (also of The Bongos, of course) ups the ante by contributing guitar and vocals to the album’s closing track, the epic “Oh Sweet Nuthin’,” which depending on the listener’s age will either remind them of a scene in the film version of High Fidelity or just of the epic grandeur of the version on Loaded (or both!). In the parlance of another non-album track performed on this evening, the tagline should be “We’re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together” and this recording sure sounds like they did. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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