“Stay the course. Keep on trying.” So sings Glenn Mercer on the Feelies’ In Between, their sixth album and second since rebooting in 2008. Last year, the Haledon, N.J., band founded by guitarists Mercer and Bill Million celebrated its 40th anniversary. Crazy Rhythms, their frenetic, classic debut, arrived in 1980, but they waited six years for their second, the comparatively sedate The Good Earth. That was the first Feelies album with the band’s current lineup of Mercer, Million, bassist Brenda Sauter, drummer Stan Demeski and percussionist Dave Weckerman. After the (relatively) quick run of three albums between 1986 and 1991, the band retired until Sonic Youth coaxed a reunion in 2008 that led to sporadic touring and to 2011’s Here Before. The Feelies will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on them.
Demeski: Growing up, I was familiar with James Brown but not a real lot. In my early college years, there was a good amount funk music around and then you had the “punk funk” thing and I suppose that’s where I first heard this. The No New York LP included the Contortions’ version, and that led me to seek out the original version. I got my copy at the Hackensack Record King, which I believe is still there. They had a surprisingly large selection of JB 45s back then. Still not an easy drum part to play and really ahead of it’s time when you consider the year of its release.