Take Bruce Springsteen, lose the nut-hugging jeans, and gain some punk rock edge, and you've essentially got Gaslight Anthem. That's what many critics and fans have said about the Jersey band since they debuted with Sink or Swimin 2007. Front man Brian Fallon has acknowledged the complimentary comparisons, and even embraced them. Well, it'll be interesting to hear which associations those people make when they hear Fallon's new side project, The Horrible Crowes, a vastly different "band" he formed with long-time friend/guitarist Ian Perkins.
The duo just released their debut album Elsie, last week and it's more Tom Waits than The Boss (in my opinion anyway). Whereas Gaslight Anthem tends to churn out fast-beated slices of Americana like "The '59 Sound," "Old White Lincoln," or "American Slang," the Crowes are far more subdued, dark and reflective. That sentiment contrasted nicely during an interview and performance moments before they took the stage at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. Following an extremely poignant performance of their song "Cherry Blossoms" in what I'm pretty sure was the Ballroom's green room (which wasn't green and was dimly lit -- sorry for the camera work by the way), Fallon and Perkins kept the conversation loose, fun and flowing. They even played ball -- so to speak -- when I inadvertently took the conversation to the debacle of being a New York Mets fan.
Performing and Discussing "Cherry Blossoms"
About "A-Sides with Jon Chattman"
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.