A-Sides With Jon Chattman: Everclear’s Art Alexakis Opens Up, Wild Adriatic Take Off, and Abby Bernstein Talks ‘in Tongues’
You wore flannel, and it was widely acceptable. You grew your hair out, but shaved it on the sides to create an awkwardly overgrown mushroom look. You moshed at any club who’d have you no matter which band was playing. Yep, you were so much cooler back in the 1990s. We all were. Well, not all of us. If you were in New York City last week — specifically the legendary Roseland Ballroom — you saw firsthand that alt-rockers Everclear are as cool now as they were back when you were grunging things up as a punk kid. The band brought its Summerland Tour to the Big Apple last week along with co-headliners and fellow 1990s icons Sugar Ray, and killed it. The tour, which also features Pog decade staples The Gin Blossoms, Lit, and Marcy Playground, comes on the heels of Everclear’s first album in six years entitled Invisible Stars.
Hours before he took the stage and led a good old-fashioned mosh pit, Everclear frontman Art Alexakis sat down backstage for an honest and deeply-felt interview. It’s good to have the band — responsible for one of the ’90s best songs (“Santa Monica”) as well as its most underrated ones (“Amphetamine”) — back together again. Watch the interview below, and we’ll forgo the live performance A-Sides in favor of the band’s new music video for “Be Careful What You Wish For.” Watch. Listen. Love.
Just Under Seven Minutes With Art Alexakis:
Everclear: “Be Careful What You Ask For”
Everclear put their stamp on the 1990s, and the Saratoga Springs-based band Wild Adriatic are looking to leave their mark this decade. (Yes, segues are fun in writing.) With their debut EP Lock & Key, this four-piece rock band (Travis Gray, Rich Derbyshire, Shane Gilman, and Mateo Vosganian) from the sticks have a pretty good shot at success. The album is full of so much rocking blues, soul and depth that it wouldn’t surprise me if they ended up following the Black Keys blueprint to mainstream appeal. By the way, that’s a great name for a book isn’t it? “The Black Keys Blueprint To Mainstream Appeal.” I’d read that.
Anyway, late last month the band came to the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, N.Y., to record an A-Sides session. These performances are extremely stripped down and amazeballs, but I promise you their live shows capture their real feel. Anyway, watch two performances from Wild Adriatic followed by an interview.
*Check out a bonus song — a cover of Bill Wither’s “Use Me” on asidesmusic.com.
“Lock & Key”
Rounding out our eclectic A-Sides trifecta is Abby Bernstein. The 24-year-old singer/songwriter is on a roll lately (not literally because that would be weird) — opening for Barenaked Ladies recently and having her song “Spend the Night” featured in the season finale of HBO’s smash Girls. Bernstein just dropped her sophomore album Talk in Tongues, and performed its single “Mary’s Son” on A-Sides late last month at the Conservatory. Watch below, and check out the world premiere of the song’s music video below. The video was shot at Columbia University. Watch it all below, and for an exclusive chat and performance of “Spend the Night,” visit asidesmusic.com.
“Mary’s Son” live
Music Video Premiere
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman’s music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I’m hoping this is refreshing.