THE RAREFLOWERS – The Rareflowers EP

New Jersey’s The Rareflowers began life in 2013 when brothers Jimmy and Kane Maraday met drummer Aaron Gollubier and started experimenting with cassette recordings. Five years on, their debut EP carries the kind of DIY spirit that comes from such basement experiments and the songs very much hark back to the 80s with the light neo-psychedelics of what became dubbed the Paisley Underground scene. In other words, the lighter, floatier end of jangle pop.

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PRINCE – Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ 30/01/1982

Over the years, there have been some great live performances by Prince captured on tape and video.  Over the years, the mighty purple one’s lawyers have dutifully gone about their business removing things from the internet, keeping them from fans’ eyes and ears.

There have been some great shows issued officially, of course.  The VHS of the near three hour show from the ‘Purple Rain’ tour is legendary (and overdue a DVD reissue) and – even with overdubs – the ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ concert movie is beloved by fans.

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THE POLICE – Capitol Theater, Passaic, New Jersey, 29/11/1980

In their short lifespan of just under eight years, like The Beatles of post-punk, The Police took on the world. The bulk of their studio output retains a near timeless appeal, but it was in the live setting that the power of this trio of talented musicians became really obvious.

It’s a shame that the only widely available live show from the band’s original existence is from the Synchronicity tour. Although a great show, the shine and bombast doesn’t quite capture the spirit of the earlier years. The BBC’s ‘Rock Goes To College’ show sits gathering dust in an archive and other bits and pieces – although pro-shot and circulating among fans – are unlikely to get a DVD release any time soon.

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CRAZY & THE BRAINS – Let Me Go

letMeGo600x600In  2012, New Jersey anti-folk/punk outfit Crazy & The Brains released a handful of songs as part of a split EP with The Disconnects.  While C&tB’s xylophone heavy take on the Ramones’ ‘Oh Oh I Love Her So’ was their best track on that particular release, the band’s self-penned material had its own ragged charm, similar to ‘Don’t Need Snacks’, their own EP containing odes to Lindsay Lohan and Saturday Night Live.  2013’s ‘Let Me Go’ recycles a few numbers from those previous releases – including a couple of the band’s best – but the unheard tunes within the sixteen tracks certainly aren’t without their enjoyable moments.

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