First/Last-Jesse Malin & Dave Bielanko

December 16, 2010

I am changing up my year end posts over the next few weeks by spotlighting some terrific albums that were released this year and might have been overshadowed by the seemingly endless Arcade Fire, Kanye and Nationals praise that might be cluttering up others’ lists. These albums deserve just as much attention and what better to focus on them by having the artists reflect on their influences?

We start with a double shot from Jesse and Dave, who’s albums ‘Love it to Life’ and ‘Life is a Problem‘ just prove that guys haven’t missed a beat in the many years they having been rocking us out. As a bonus for Pittsburghers, both bands play here frequently and for the first time they share a bill Thursday night that brings them to the cozy confines of Club Cafe. The guys were incredibly cool enough to begin what I like to call the HughShows 2010 Year End Advent First/Last Calendar of love! Well, maybe not…

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Jesse Malin: Elton John – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”.
  • Dave Bielanko: “Sounds of the Haunted House” collection of creaking doors, howling wind and creepy engineers screaming into the reverb tank. Great album.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Jesse: Fistful of Mercy-“As I Call You Down”.
  • Dave: Bought three “Mississippi Records” country blues collections at earwax records in Brooklyn today after our NYC gig last night at Bowery Ballroom…love the “ghost world”.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Jesse: “London Calling”.
  • Dave: “Let’s cut the Crap and Hook up Later On Tonight” – Marah.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Jesse: The Gene Simmons solo album.
  • Dave: The Bo Bice Record really sucked.
  • First concert attended?
  • Jesse: KISS at Madison Square Garden.
  • Dave: Colonial Middle School Band (mandatory attendance, school sanctioned event).
  • Last concert?
  • Jesse: Social Distortion at Roseland.
  • Dave: Marah/Jesse Malin NYC Bowery Ballroom.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Jesse: Bad Brains at CBGBs or the Clash at the Palladium or Springsteen at the Garden or Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Ragged Glory – MSG.
  • Dave: Alabama at the Valley Forge Music Fair.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Jesse: Ted Nugent.
  • Dave: Definitely a Marah gig, prolly Dallas 05, drunker’n hell. Or Vermont… that sucked.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Jesse: I’ve thought about moving there and dropping out of New York society & getting a band house between those mountains. Also, opening for the Ramones with D Generation at River Fest. Playing Rosebud with my band. Drinking at Gooski’s. Singing Christmas songs with Springsteen at Heinz Hall. Playing the Electric Banana and getting ripped off on my first ever tour at gun point.
  • Dave: Loving Pittsburgh to death recently…love Jacks Bar, love Jimmy And Dr. Mike, IC light, and Willie Stargell!
  • Thanks so much fellas. Your love of this town has always been apparent and may I sincerely say the feeling is mutual!