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#13 The Gay Blades: Ghosts

By Gary Wien

originally published: 01/26/2012

#13 The Gay Blades: Ghosts

If there’s a list of the most creative bands to ever come out of New Jersey chances are The Gay Blades would be among the names chosen.  The band features James Dean Wells on guitar and Quinn English on drums, with both sharing vocal duties.  And that’s it.  Just two guys who happen to make loud, boisterous rock and roll, which they call “trash-pop.”  It’s a mixture of gritty guitars and dirty drums that shatters the myth that it takes three to have a power trio.  The Gay Blades are that and more.

Originally from the New Brunswick music scene from bands like Clever Hans and Hello Lovely, the duo, who both attended Rutgers University, moved to the Jersey City area and created the persona for The Gay Blades.  This includes their alternate identities (Wells is known as Clark Westfield and English as Puppy Mills); never giving straight interview answers; and inventing some of the craziest song titles you’ll ever see.

All it takes is one spin to realize the two have got something special going on.  People generally either love it or hate it, which is probably how the band likes it.  The Gay Blades are a bit like hipster indie rock; if you don’t get it, they’d rather have your seat at the bar taken by someone else.  But if you get it, you’ll absolutely love it and rave about it to your friends, as so many people did when the band played multiple shows at SXSW.

Musically, the closest comparison is something like the David Bowie of the ‘70s joining the White Stripes for a set.  Songs are often like sonic nightmares, but in a good way.  And just when you think you’ve got the band figured out, they bring out an amazingly slow, dreamy number like “Dog Day Afternoon” and continue to surprise. 

Highlights include “O Shot,” “Hey She Say,” “Bob Dylan’s 115th Nightmare,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “NHDN,” and “Robots Can F**k Your S**t Up.”

Photo by Lucia Holm


From the book Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists by Gary Wien


Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station Asbury Music. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.

 






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Event calendar
Sunday, May 19, 2019


MUSIC

Believe: A Fundraiser Benefit for Marilyn's Place @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 4:00pm

Tash Sultana @ The Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park - 6:00pm

Will Martin Sings Dean Martin @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 3:00pm

MICHAEL BOLTON @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

Band Together for Veterans @ Bar Anticipation, Lake Como - 1:00pm

ART OF THE DOUBLE CONCERTO - NEW JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 3:00pm

Carmina Burana New Jersey Youth Symphony 40th Anniversary Concert @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 3:00pm

Derek Bermel's Mango Suite @ Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton - 4:00pm

Laurie Berkner, Solo @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 3:00pm

Grace Morrison at Riverside!! @ Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme, Succasunna - 4:00pm

The Bronx Wanderers @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 5:00pm and 8:00pm







THEATRE

Frost/Nixon @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 2:00pm

Surfing My DNA @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Camelot @ Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan - 3:00pm

She Loves Me! @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 2:00pm

Morir Sonyando @ Passage Theatre Company, Trenton - 3:00pm

Rapunzel @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 1:30pm and 3:30pm

MET Encore: Dialogues des Carmelites @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 1:00pm


DANCE

Roxey Ballet Presents Cinderella @ The College Of New Jersey’s Kendall Main Stage Theater, Ewing - 2:00pm

Kick Dance Studios presents I LOVE the 90s @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 1:00pm


KIDS

THE SLEEPING BEAUTY @ Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook - 2:00pm

Double Dare Live @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 1:00pm and 7:00pm


SPIRITUAL

Transform Your Thoughts & Heal Yourself Spiritually @ 10 Colonial Court, Hainesport, NJ 08036, Hainesport - 1:30pm

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