Wrens Watch, March 9, 2009

wrenswatch921We’ve been fans of New Jersey’s finest since even before their first album came out back in 1994, so let’s just say we’re used to sitting around waiting for them to take their sweet-ass time putting out new music. (Three albums in more than 14 years makes the Wrens about as prolific as Boston, which is kind of like being as tall as Tinnie Tyler.) As reported in a Wrens Watch Special Report, January 9 marked a huge milestone for the guys: guitarists Charles Bissell and Greg Whelan, bassist Kevin Whelan and drummer Jerry MacDonald. They issued “Pulled Fences,” their first new (well, sort of new) song since 2003’s The Meadowlands. Perhaps motivated by finally releasing something, the band convened—not in a real studio, but in Kevin’s basement—seven weeks ago to begin work on its new album. And not only that, the Wrens recorded an actual song (which you can download for free here). When we checked in with Bissell four weeks ago, he took exception with our good-natured sarcasm and quickly ended the interview. After ignoring us for a while, Bissell finally gave us a progress report; it seems that while other bands get together and record, the Wrens stay apart and talk to each other on the phone. Or they do nothing at all.

:: Wrens Watch, March 9, 2009
So you guys are playing the Bowery Ballroom on Friday. It’s your first NYC show in ages. It’s sold out. I’m guessing you guys haven’t been recording, since you’re so busy practicing for the show. Yes?
Yes, we haven’t been recording at all.
Because you have been practicing so much for the show.
We are getting together to practice before the show.
You haven’t yet? The show is on Friday.
That’s OK. We’ll just do a last-minute cram session to get prepared for it, maybe fake-up some new songs.
Jesus Christ. What the hell have you been doing?
Well, I’m on Facebook now. I have more than 100 friends, and I’ve been sending Super Cocktails and writing on peoples’ walls and commenting on photos. I’m even a fan of MAGNET. And coffee. Facebook is really a lot of work. And time consuming.
So you have been dicking around on Facebook instead of recording?
Uh, yeah. Isn’t that what people do when they should be working? Instead of doing it in some office somewhere, I do it at home. Or in Kevin’s basement.
You are incredible. I don’t know what to say.
That’s OK. I need to go anyway. I changed my kid’s diaper and want to tell all my Facebook friends about it.

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