On September 4th, 1997, Superchunk played at Irving Plaza! Two days earlier, the band released their fantastic sixth studio album, Indoor Living. Their set features several songs from that record, plus classics like “Hyper Enough” from their 1995 album, Here’s Where The Strings Come In. This gig kicked off the 1997 edition of the CMJ festival in New York City. The next night, Mac McCaughan, along with Marc Eitzel, Juliana Hatfield, Ben Lee, Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes played at the Threadwaxing Space in SoHo.
On August 28th, 1992, The Jesus Lizard played at Maxwell’s. Check out the below excerpt from the New York Times previewing the band’s show at Maxwell’s and their show on the 29th at CBGB’s.
Local great dude “Hoboken Jack” Silbert was in attendance. It was the first of many great shows at Maxwell’s that he’d attend over the next two decades!
The Jesus Lizard, Maxwell's, 1039 Washington Street, Hoboken, N.J., (201) 798-4064, and CBGB, 315 Bowery, at Bleecker Street, East Village, (212) 982-4052. Plenty of bands on the alternative-rock circuit are kicking up a fuss with grunge and feedback, but few can make a guitar sound quite as nasty as the Jesus Lizard does. Duane Denison's riffs have all the acidic spite of heavy metal, but their jagged shapes and time phrases owe equal amounts to art and punk. The singer David Yow doesn't sound as if he likes you. Tonight at Maxwell's, the Jesus Lizard is on a bill with the comparatively traditional post-punk of Tar, plus the group Cell; show time is 10 P.M. and admission is $7. Tomorrow night at CBGB, the band is with Tar, plus Polvo, whose noise tends toward a dreamier pop feel, and Poster Children. Music starts around 8:30 P.M. Admission is $10. Sonic Boom
On August 6th, 1987, 10,000 Maniacs played at Maxwell’s! This performance marked the beginning of several tours of both the United States and Europe in support of their second major-label release, “In My Tribe,” which was released the week prior. It was the first album the band released without original member John Lombardo, and features songs written by Natalie Merchant and Robert Buck.
In the Fall of 1987, the band toured the states supporting R.E.M., including two dates at Radio City Music Hall that October. They also performed at Rutgers University on October 22nd, The Ritz on December 5th, and City Gardens on December 6th.
On July 29th, 1992, Pavement played at Maxwell’s! The legendary indie rock band had just released their debut album, Slanted And Enchanted, in April of 1992. The band’s set features many favorites from that record, including “Loretta’s Scars,” “Summer Babe,” “Zurich Is Stained,” and more!
Pavement toured almost non-stop in 1992. This show at Maxwell’s kicked off a string of dates in the United States, after the band spent most of July in Europe.
Conduit for Sale!
Shoot the Singer
Can't Trust It to Remain
Zurich Is Stained
In the Mouth a Desert
No Life Singed Her
On July 26, 1997, The Muff and Chixdiggit played at Tramps! In May of 1997, The Muffs released their third full length, Happy Birthday to Me, on Reprise Records. This was the band’s final release on Reprise, as they’d released their fourth album, Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow, in 1999 on Honest Don’s Records. Most recently, the band released Whoop Dee Doo in 2014 on Burger Records. In the prior year, Chixdiggit released their debut self-titled on Sub Pop Records, but similarly, they’d move to Honest Don’s Records (a Fat Wreck Chords subsidiary) for their sophomore album, Born on the First of July, which was released in 1998.
On July 22nd, 1999, The Donnas played at Tramps!
Here’s a review from an attendee, Jeanne Kalosieh on femmemusic.com.
Donna A – lead singer. Donna R – guitar. Donna F – bass. Donna C – drums. Can you be a veteran rock star at the tender age of 19? With three albums under their studded belts, The Donnas are indeed. But they can’t hide the fact that the blood in their veins is spiked with that awkward brand of teenagerness.
At the July 22nd show at Tramps in New York City, Donna A nervously smoothed her hair, Donnas R and F hid behind their long hair, while Donna C just frantically pounded away on her drums. These acts were more endearing than the guitar-smashing fad ever was. The Donnas are not trying to grow up too fast, catch up on life experience, or fool you into thinking they know it all. And, surprisingly enough, they didn’t appear to be bratty, post-Riot Grrls with a score to settle with humanity. They’re just four friends simultaneously indulging in a solid rock n roll band and their hellish young adult years. They complained that the only beers they had to drink were warm, sang about smoking “four leaf clover” with friends, and danced just as much as their audience. This band definitely knows what they’re doing.
The Donnas took to their instruments like an old pair of sneakers, and Donna A worked her thang in a way that would make Axl Rose jealous. The whole night was wild, rambunctious, back-yard rock. Meanwhile, the crowd was shimming, shaking, and shivering throughout the set. Songs from the night included “Hyperactive,” “You Make Me Hot,” “Hook It Up,” “Zero,” and “Shake In The Action.” The foursome returned for an encore which included the hit “Rock N Roll Machine.” For anyone who refuses to mature on time, The Donnas will surely help you keep the party going.
On July 13th, 1989, Tad played at Maxwell’s! In March of 1989, Tad released their debut record, God’s Balls, on Sub Pop Records. The band then headed out on tour with Nirvana, arriving at Maxwell’s on this hot night in July. This tape contains some interesting moments, including what sounds like a conversation between Dave and Jon Reinert about “the guy from Nirvana” and lovingly referred to as “taper scum” by their friends. And yeah, Nirvana opened the show. The band was on tour in support of their debut LP, Bleach, which was released the month prior on Sub Pop.
The Mckenzie Tapes also has a recording of Nirvana’s set, which we shared last year.
On July 6th, 1986, 10,000 Maniacs played at Maxwell’s! The band’s set mostly features songs from their 1985 album (and first major label release on Elektra Records), The Wishing Chair. This show at Maxwell’s was one of the last performances featuring co-founder and guitarist, John Lombardo. The next week, Lombardo left 10,000 Maniacs during a rehearsal on July 14, 1986. Thereafter, the remaining five members started recording their third full-length, In My Tribe, which was released in July of 1987. Stay tuned, as The Mckenzie Tapes will be sharing a video of the band performing many songs from that record at Maxwell’s in August of 1988.
On July 2nd, 1988, Tiny Lights played at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ! Based in Hoboken, New Jersey, the group was formed in 1985 by John Hamilton and Donna Croughn. Original members also included Dave Dreiwitz, Jane Scarpantoni, and John Mastro.
Earlier in 1988, the band released their second album Hazel’s Wreath on Gaia Records. The cover of the record is the cover of this cassette!
On June 29th, 1986, The Saints played at Maxwell’s! Formed in 1973 in Brisbane, Australia, The Saints were at the forefront of the punk rock genre, releasing their first single, “I’m Stranded,” in September of 1976. The group underwent several lineup changes by the time they arrived in the United States for this 1986 tour. In 1986, the group released their seventh studio album, All Fools Day, with Chris Bailey on vocals, Richard Burgman on guitar, Arturo Larizza on bass, and Ivor Hay on drums. The album was The Saints' commercial breakthrough into the US, with the videos for "Just Like Fire Would" and "Temple of the Lord" receiving airplay on MTV.
The Saints are still active, but have not released a record since 2012’s King of the Sun. In 2014 Bruce Springsteen released a cover of "Just Like Fire Would" on his 2014 album, High Hopes.
On June 28th, 1986, Naked Raygun played at Maxwell’s! The post-hardcore band was formed in Chicago 1980 by Santiago Durango, Marko Pezzati and later Jeff Pezzati. Singer Jeff Pezzati was the sole constant member through multiple personnel changes. In 1986, the Chicago post-hardcore band released their second album, All Rise, on Homestead Records. The group disbanded in 1992, but re-formed in 2006 and has since performed sporadically.
On June 25th, 1992, Babes In Toyland played at Maxwell’s! In 1992, Maureen Herman replaced original bassist Michelle Leon and the band signed with Reprise Records for their second studio album, Fontanelle. The album was recorded in Cannon Falls, Minnesota and in New York City, and featured production from Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo. The record sold over 250,000 copies in the United States alone and includes the raucous single, “Bruise Violet.”
On June 21st, 1987, Rollins Band played at City Gardens! The band played a rousing set that included many tracks from the band’s 1987 debut album, "Life Time.” At the end of the tape, you can also hear Henry Rollins’ message machine, which included pertinent information about the band. This message detailed the band’s upcoming European tour, which included dates in Switzerland with Swans. Rollins also mentioned that the band would be recording in the U.K. while in Europe. These recordings were later released as the band’s next EP, “Do It,” later in 1987.
On June 21st, 1997, Supersuckers played at Coney Island High! 1997 was a pivotal year in the history of the Supersuckers, as the band, previously known for their straight up rock and roll sound, released a country album, Must've Been High. The band played two sets as indicated by the inside cover of the tape, one punk set and one country set!
On June 20th, 1992, Captain America played at CBGB’s! The Glasgow-based band was formed in 1990 by Eugene Kelly following the dissolution of his former band, The Vaselines. Inspired by the early work of Teenage Fanclub, Kelly recruited Gordon Keen on guitar, James Seenan on bass, and Andy Bollen on drums to form the first lineup of Captain America. As Kurt Cobain was a big fan of Kelly's work with The Vaselines, he invited Captain American to open for Nirvana on their 1991 European tour.
In November 1991, the band released their first EP EP on Paperhouse Records. In early 1992, they released their second EP, “Flame On.” The band were forced to change their name to Eugenius due to legal threats from Marvel Comics, who owned the legal rights to the name "Captain America". Around the time of this gig, the band also attracted the attention of Atlantic records, who released their first full-length “Oomalama” in November of 1992.
On June 16th, 1988, the Henry Rollins Band returned to Maxwell’s a little more than a year after their last performance there in May of 1987. By this point, the band had released their debut album, Life Time, which was produced by childhood friend Ian MacKaye. The band played really fucking loud at this show, so watch the volume levels.
On June 13th, 1996, Screaming Trees played at the Trocadero in Philadelphia! Screaming Trees emerged out Seattle in the late 1980s amongst fellow grunge pioneers Mudhoney, The Melvins, Soundgarden, and Green River, releasing their first four albums on SST Records before jumping to major label Epic Records in the 1990s.
In 1996, the band released their final studio album, “Dust.” Following this tour, the band went on hiatus for frontman Mark Lanegan to begin work on his third solo album, “Scraps At Midnight,” which was released in 1998. Thereafter, the band recorded a few demos in 1999 for their next studio album. However, the band ultimately disbanded in 2000.
On June 8th, 1996, Cows played at CBGB’s! Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cows were a post-hardcore/noise rock band known for their infamously raucous live performances. After forming in 1987, the band released a whopping nine studio albums before disbanding in 1998. Right around the time of this show, the band released their penultimate LP, Whorn. In an attempt to capture their notorious live performances, Cows recorded the entire album in a “live sound” style, playing together as a whole band instead of recording their parts individually. After breaking up in 1998, front-person Shannon Selberg went on to front The Heroine Sheiks.
On June 3rd, 1988, Die Kreuzen played at Maxwell’s! The Milwaukee band was touring in support of their third studio album, "Century Days.” which was released in July of 1988 on Touch and Go Records. After working with Corey Rusk on their first two full lengths, the band hired Butch Vig to produced “Century Days.” He’d also produce their next EP, “Gone Away,” and their final LP, “Cement.”
On June 2nd, 1986, a Japanese television crew filmed a live performance of The Feelies at Maxwell's. Unfortunately, the VHS was quite moldy, so the video quality is poor. However, I wanted to digitize it in its current state before I made any attempt to clean it. The documentary includes film of the band performing, but also shots of the crowd and other random stuff, like the exterior of Maxwell's and the interior of the front room. It also includes interviews with owner Steve Fallon and the band!