It was as if the Velvets had begotten a Grateful Dead, only one that didn't tour; you had to go to the nightclub Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ, preferably on a holiday, to see skiny, steel-eyed Glenn Mercer and his slightly happier partner Bill Million exchange guitar patterns that build on Wire's chord diction, Television's interplay, and Eno's coated glam--the root integers of strum. Drummer Stan Demeski frowned, especially trying to imitate the polyrhythms Anton Fier had cooked up for the first record. Dave Weckerman was zen god of unnecessary percussion, hitting some little patern on a cowbell while everything raged around him, but perfectly! Mercer sang a little--Lou Reed but less expressive. The band would launch into a cover you hadn't yet heard them do-- Wire's "Sand in my Joints", or Neil Young's "Sedan Delivery", or Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot", or the Monkees' "I'm A Believer(Mercer wasn't)--and punk tradition would swell to encompass whatever song the Feelies had attempted. They'd do the same few originals, over and over, but with a different mood on any given night because mood raves were all they were to begin with. Speed up, zone out. Guitar mass. Recorded, it sounds a little more artificial, though less so as years separate fans from the memory of those shows.On Crazy Rhythms, the original Feelies line-up builds everything into a pulsating gibber, even the Beatles song "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey". "Loveless Love", "Original Love", and "Moscow Nights" are three parts of the same largely instrumental song: Pink Flag played at Marquee Moon length, so intoxicating that, before Desperately Seeking Susan, Susan Seidelman built an entire film, Smithereens, around excerpts. "Fa Ce La" is a little kiss-off. "Raised Eyebrows" has chords as primal as any in punk.


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