The Multi-Purpose Solution: Live at Maxwell’s
Lately, I’ve been listening almost exclusively to CDs and CD players. It hasn’t been bad at all. In our December issue, I’ll talk about the Emotiva ERC-2 CD player ($449); in January, I’ll compare the Emotiva to Michael Lavorgna’s longtime digital reference, the original Sony Playstation 1 (typically $15$75, used); and, in February, I’ll listen to NAD’s C 515BEE ($300), the disc-spinning counterpart to that company’s awesome C 316BEE integrated amplifier.
It’s been the perfect time for me to listen to CD players because my old band, The Multi-Purpose Solution, is reuniting to play a show this Friday, November 4, at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ. All of our material was released on CD, you see, and, because we can’t read or write music, the only way to relearn the songs is to listen to the CDs. Over and over and over again.
It’s been fun, actually. Relearning the songs has been difficult, but surprisingly satisfying: Like unlocking mysteries and solving strange puzzles. Most of the songs we’ll be performing on Friday night were originally written between 1999 and 2001, and I’m amazed by what we came up with back then. We would never write such songs today. Those old songs were the product of great ambition, desire, and a search for an identity. We’re much more settled today, to be honest, but also much more secure.
There's a nice story about us in Hoboken's local paper. (I did not say, "Our bass player and his girlfriend got a baby.")
We’ve decided not to change the songs at all, but rather play them as they were recorded. The only difference is that we can’t play as fast as we once did, so the songs will be slower, perhaps more deliberate. And, happily, we all agree that they sound better this way. They have a new-found groove, greater strength and certainty. It’s all about the rhythm and flow.
It’s been a long time for us. We haven’t performed together since June 2006. That show, too, was at Maxwell’s, so this will be something of a homecoming, and we are definitely looking forward to it. We’re not sure if it will lead to anything else. Right now, I think we just want to get through this show, together, and with smiles on our faces. It’s been hard enough just to find the time to practice. In fact, crazily, though we’ve known about this show for months and months, we’ve only managed to get together for three full rehearsals. This past Sunday should have marked our final practice, but that session was cancelled due to last weekend’s unexpected snowstorms. So, we lack whatever confidence that last practice would have offered.
Oh well. From what I understand, we’ll have lots of friends and family in attendance, and these people are all well prepared to have a good time, regardless of how we play. Knowing that, however, only makes me want to play better. I would like to give my friends and family something special, something to remember. I’m sure all the guys in the band feel similarly. I think we are all aware that this opportunity may not come again, so we’d like to make the most of it.
Friday, November 4, 8pm: The Multi-Purpose Solution will play songs from their debut album, the mps, and from their final record, How Can A Man Be Tougher Than The World?, at the legendary rock club, Maxwell’s (1039 Washington Street, Hoboken). This is a special event celebrating the 10th anniversary of longtime friends and headliners, Fairmont, and will also include performances from fellow Mint 400 recording artist, Theodore Grimm, and Montclair’s Those Mockingbirds. Admission is $8.
Hope to see you there.
Our front man, Jim Teacher, has recently made available a rare track, originally recorded in 2004 and released as part of Weird NJ’s Local Heroes, Villains, and Artists compilation.
Please don’t talk to me about sound quality based on the looks of the Soundcloud player. Yes, there’s a lot of gray area in this icon. Yes, we are a loud-as-hell rock band with big-ass tube amplifiers. We recorded the song live to tape in a basement in New Brunswick, NJ, with ska artist, King Django. We used very little compression, made very few overdubs, and tried to capture the maddening energy of our live performances. Members of the audience have been known to strip naked.
Here we are, in this bar, again.